To get more people on the bus, we need to look towards Auckland, New Zealand

The city of Auckland in New Zealand has seen their population grow steadily since 2000—at around 2 percent per year. Despite this, transit ridership numbers were stagnating, something that many growing cities have struggled with. Eager to get citizens away from their cars and into public transportation, Auckland set an ambitious target to double ridership numbers within the decade, from 60 million riders a year to 120 million. According to the latest numbers, they’re succeeding, which raises the question: how is Auckland pulling this off? Apparently, the city has created a more extensive bus network that reaches more parts of the city. And although that requires riders to transfer more, the key is that Auckland doesn’t make it more expensive to travel further. Whether you don’t transfer at all or transfer three times, it will all cost the same low price. The success of Auckland’s strategy to boost transit ridership numbers by improving its bus service should serve as an important reminder to cities that the oft-maligned bus is one of the cheapest and most nimble tools within their reach to radically reduce car dependency. 

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