During the last decade, New Zealand's non-metropolitan regions have undergone significant demographic and economic changes as a result of migration and changing employment trends. These changes are not widely recognised or understood, let alone addressed in land-use and transportation planning.
This research analyses the demographic trends in three non-metropolitan regions, and through data gathered from a questionnaire and interviews, explores the residents' attitudes and behaviour in relation to shared transport. The aim was to build understanding about how to improve transport access for people in these regions in a way that best utilises existing infrastructure. This would support current government goals for transport, which include providing more transport choices, lowering the costs of transportation, making the best use of existing infrastructure, and ensuring that investment in land transport contributes to economic growth and productivity.
The research identifies clear scope for, and interest in, having a greater range of transport options, including shared or flexible transport services. Because shared transport contributes to reduced single-occupant vehicle trips and fewer vehicles coming into larger urban centres from adjacent smaller settlements, the wider land transport system and economy would benefit, with improved effectiveness and value for money in the development and operation of networks.