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Wellington drivers need to share their rides

Sep 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

EVERY working week, more than 60,000 seats go begging during Wellington’s morning rush hour – because drivers won’t share.

This is NewsWire’s estimate after reporter Melissa Kinealy surveyed cars travelling into the city along one of the city’s six main feeder routes, Adelaide Rd in Berhampore.

As she stood at her bus stop for 10 minutes each day, she counted about 70 city-bound cars go past – with 50 carrying only the driver.

Only one in 20 had all their seats occupied.

On average, there were 324 empty seats city-bound each day, with the number building up as the week progressed.

Doing a rough calculation based on five other main feeder streets, she estimates more than 58,000 empty car seats travel into the central business district each week.

However, the Greater Wellington Regional Council says it may have the answers with a new car-pooling programme which will give commuters a number of choices.

Those registering for the scheme – due to be implemented in mid-March – will be able to choose whether they want to share with:
• males or females,
• smokers,
• people only from their workplace
• or other workplaces,
or if  they want to be a passenger in other people’s cars only, or if they’re prepared to drive and use their car.

“This programme will be workplace-based and there’ll be a strong emphasis on other activities to accompany the computer search,” says council senior communications adviser Philippa Lagan.

These include suggesting that workplaces hold morning teas or lunches with staff so they can discuss car-pooling.

Possible incentives include reduced cost or free parking, priority parking, or reward programmes.

There is no minimum distance that drivers and passengers need to travel to register for the programme. There is no security check for people who register their details.

PICTURE: The bus stop on the corner of Duppa St and Adelaide Rd.

Here’s the number of empty seats Melissa saw in cars passing the stop between 8.08am and 8.18am during one week in August:

Monday

281

Tuesday

312

Wednesday

335

Thursday

353

Friday

340

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  1. Your poll doesn’t have a space to give the response that tens of thousands of Wellingtonians would tick.

    We use public transport because it is so good in this city and much cheaper than driving.

    So I would never consider car pooling, but not because my car is my castle. I leave my car at home and catch the bus.

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