Wellington region has the highest number of public transport boardings per person per year in New Zealand. The average resident boarded public transport 72 times last year, far exceeding the per-capita boarding for Auckland, Canterbury, and all major Australian cities except Sydney.

Infographic Boardings per personBelow are some statistics from the 2015/2016 year, as well as links to our patronage, performance and customer satisfaction reports.

Greater Wellington Public Transport Statistics

In the 2015/16 year:

  • 90% of the region’s residents used public transport
  • 149,000 public transport journeys were made per average work day
  • The average number of public transport trips per person, per year in Wellington is 72, compared with 47 in Auckland and 20 in Canterbury.
  • 37.3 million passenger trips (average of 3.1 million per month) were taken
    • 65.2% by bus
    • 34.3% by train
    • 0.5% by ferry
  • The number of passenger trips increased by over 4% (1.5 million) over the previous year
  • Nearly 9,000 people arrive at Wellington station between 7 and 9 am on an average weekday


The Metlink network:

  • Has bus stops, train stations, and harbour ferry terminals located within a 6 minute walk (500 metres) of 84% of the region’s population
  • Consists of four rail lines, more than 100 bus routes, more than 200 school bus services, and harbour ferry services
  • Includes 49 train stations, 4 harbour ferry wharfs, about 2800 bus stops and 28 park and ride car parks at train stations
  • Operates over 500 buses, over 70 two-car electric multiple units, 25 Wairarapa rail carriages, and 2 harbour ferries

Other Statistics

  • Use of public transport has grown by 1.3% in the past 5 years, and by 14% in the past 10 years.
  • The slower growth may be attributed to a slower growth in population. Wellington’s annual growth rate dropped from 1.6% to 0.8% since 2006.
  • 50% of all passenger trips on public transport happened during peak times. The other 50% took place during off-peak hours.
  • Public transport funding in 2015/2016 came from:
    • Passenger fares (52%)
    • Supergold fare revenue (3%)
    • NZTA subsidy (23%)
    • GWRC rates (22%)


Related links

Annual Public Transport Customer Satisfaction

Patronage numbers

Performance numbers