Aucklanders are in for a free ride later this month; if only for a day.

To celebrate Auckland residents notching up 100 million public transport trips the past 12 months, Auckland Transport is offering free rides on buses, trains and "most ferry services" on Sunday, June 23.

The achievement marks the biggest year for public transport since 1951.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says people making the switch to public transport was happening quicker than anticipated.


"We haven't seen this much use of public transport since 1951 when trams were in their prime.

"We need more and more people on public transport to ease congestion caused by the yearly growth of population by more than 40,000 in Auckland. Every person on a bus, train or ferry is one less car clogging up the roads and adding carbon emissions to our atmosphere."

He said more changes were coming; the Northern Busway was getting extended, construction of the Eastern Busway had started, and the Puhinui Bus-Rail Interchange and rapid transit to the airport and precinct would get under way in October."

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said 270,000 trips were taken on public transport in Auckland every day.

"Our Government is investing nearly $2.2 billion on public transport in Auckland over this three-year period and the growing trip numbers are evidence that if you invest in more and better public transport, people will use it."

Auckland Transport Board chairman Dr Lester Levy was impressed by the speed of change.

"When I became chairman of Auckland Transport in 2012 annual public transport patronage was under 70 million, so this is a very proud day for me."

Together with the public, they had taken Auckland from a city reliant on vehicles to one which now embraced public transport as well as walking and cycling.


He said the last time public transport numbers were this high, trams were still running, trolley buses were very popular and ferry numbers were high and the Harbour Bridge was still eight years away.