Community Panel on Time-of-Use Charging in Auckland

by Anne Bardsley, Finlay Harvey and Tatjana Buklijas

Report on the deliberative process and outcomes

Aucklanders are open to the idea of congestion pricing, and are ready for a constructive, pragmatic conversation about the form a scheme in their city might take. 

Read the report

That’s the main take-out from new research commissioned by policy and advocacy organisation the Northern Infrastructure Forum (NIF), and delivered by Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures, a think tank and research centre at the University of Auckland.

The research involved exploring the views of the community on congestion pricing, or time-of-use charging, using deliberative democracy principles.  A panel of 30 Aucklanders was randomly selected, and its members met four times during April and May to learn about the issue, ask questions of experts and stakeholders, and listen to each others’ perspectives on the range of trade-offs Aucklanders face.

At the end of the process, they developed a set of principles to help inform the design of a time-of-use charging scheme, which was presented to Auckland Council and Auckland Transport, and shared with central government.

The principles and criteria set out by the community panel are summarised below:

  • The primary objective must be to reduce congestion
  • Strategic use of discounts and exemptions to mitigate social impacts
  • Revenue must be used exclusively to provide transport options for Aucklanders, particularly public transport options
  • Keep it simple and transparent:
    • People need to know what they’re paying and when, and timing and pricing should be reviewed regularly
    • Initial geographic boundary for charging zone must not be too complex
    • User-friendly and reliable payment systems
    • Clear communication of benefits, particularly de-congestion benefits

Our themes