Access Hamilton

​​​​​Getting around Hamilton

A great transport system is vital to the success of a thriving urban city like Hamilton. Transport connects communities, enables everyone to participate more fully and creates conditions for the economy to grow. People rely on the local transport system to get to work, school, the shops or the gym on time so the timetables and routes of buses and trains must be effectively planned and managed.

Transport challenges

Hamilton is one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand with a surge in population growth expected in the next 30 years. By 2025, estimates predict 184,000 people will be living in Hamilton which will swell to 236,000 people by 2048. To help meet the increased demands of this growth, Hamilton needs 12,500 new houses in the next 10 years and around 33,000 houses over the next 30 years. 

This growth surge will put more pressure on the local transport system. The number of people commuting into the city from surrounding areas currently stands at 50,000 per day but this figure is expected to increase by 40% over the next three decades. 

Hamilton's transport system faces several potential challenges as a result of this rapid growth:

  • An increasing trend in the number of people being killed or seriously injured.
  • A declining number of people choosing to walk or ride a bike.
  • An historical decline in the number of people using public transport.
  • A large proportion of people using their car for short trips (60% of people driving for less than 5km and 33% of people driving for less than 2km).
  • An increase in congestion and unreliable journey times.
  • A lack of infrastructure to unlock new growth areas.

We must change how we consider and deliver transport solutions that are accessible for everyone to enable Hamilton to achieve its goals of being a:

  • great river city
  • city that embraces growth
  • council that is best in business.

Hamilton's transport future

The success of Hamilton's transport system relies on creating a new approach for multi-modal (different types of transport) movement. We need to provide residents, commuters and visitors with an expanding range of safe and reliable choices for getting around, in addition to taking their cars.

Our streets are places where people choose to catch up with their friends and neighbours, actively support local businesses and allow their children to play. A multi-modal movement approach will encourage increased levels of physical activity, reduced levels of transport-related air pollution and allow everyone to participate. We anticipate this will help create more healthy and connected communities. 

As a rapidly growing city, Hamilton will set a new standard for designing streets that prioritise people. We will encourage multi-use places where people can easily and safely walk or cycle. Our transport system will unlock housing and create new jobs in those areas that are currently underdeveloped by moving more people more efficiently. A thriving and prosperous community leads to greater economic activity.

Hamilton's transport purpose is to improve the health and well-being of Hamiltonians by providing transport choices that connect people and places safely and enables sustainable economic growth.

Vision Zero

Hamilton has adopted a Vision Zero target. This means we will not accept the death of any person on our transport system. We will design and deliver infrastructure that recognises humans are fallible and that when we make a mistake, we should not pay for it with our life. The number of deaths and serious injuries will decease when vehicles travel at the speeds appropriate to the conditions. Our wish is for everyone to take personal responsibility for themselves and those around them when moving from here to there, from now into the future.

Outcome areas

Four outcome areas have been identified as priorities for Hamilton:

Safety, Transport Choice and Growth

Get involved

Council cannot achieve this alone. We will work side-by-side with other government agencies and key stakeholders (like NZTA and Waikato Regional Council) to enable our vision.

We also know that the community is critical in achieving our strategy and we will be working closely with you to create solutions for a better Hamilton.​

To find out more or get involved, contact the City Transportation team​ on (07) 838 6699.

Page reviewed: 01 Apr 2020 11:08am