Traffic will get worse unless more people take public transport - Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport says the city's traffic will continue to get worse unless public transport usage grows more than twice as fast as it currently is.

Friday is the end of the first week of so-called March Madness which is the busiest month of the year on New Zealand's roads.

Newshub raced e-bike rider and CBD worker Jamie Annan into Auckland on Thursday to see if his commute was faster than taking a car.

Annan lives in Te Atatu and says public transport isn't an option for him - it would take one hour and 20 minutes on the bus to arrive in the city.

While the race was close for the first five minutes, it was once Newshub reached the motorway where traffic began to slow.

The speed on Auckland's motorway slowed to 10 km/h during rush hour, and Google Maps estimated that congestion would add 20 to 25 minutes to the journey.

March is the worst month since the trifecta of university students, workers and parents all hit the road - and it's made worse by the unprecedented road works in the city.

It took Annan 31 minutes to get to work on his e-bike, and he showered, got ready and had a coffee before Newshub arrived by car 20 minutes later.

He saves about 150 hours a year by cycling rather than driving.

"It's just so much time. I've done that calculation before and went wow, that's so much of my life I get back."

On the motorway, most of the cars were only carrying one person.

Use of the city's public transport is only growing by about five percent year on year, which isn't fast enough according to Auckland Transport.

"We've got to at least double that to keep congestion levels the same," executive general manager of integrated networks Mark Lambert says.

"We have to build more bus lanes, more cycle lanes, and increase the quality and usability of public transport so more people feel good about using public transport."

And if we don't, all signs point to congestion "getting a lot worse".