Changing the tide of congestion and climate change must be done together


Source: Priority One Sustainability Lead, Marissa Nikora

Turning the tide on our city’s choked-up traffic congestion and moving to a more sustainable future can feel like a mammoth task that’s just too hard to tackle.

But the success of the recent pop-up Shift Hub in Tauranga proves that it doesn’t have to be.

The Hub, which was available throughout July, was made possible because a number of like-minded businesses worked together to show commuters how they could get to work in more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways.

In just five weeks, the Shift Hub went from idea to execution, and the result was a community-focused space with the sole purpose of equipping locals with knowledge and resources to improve their commute.

And it worked. Over the 19 days that the Shift Hub was open, close to 1,000 people booked in to visit the space, many walking away with reimagined routes to work that cut down their commute time, cost, and our region’s congestion and emissions.

This kind of genuinely altruistic business collaboration is exactly what is needed to drive sustainable solutions, not just in transport, but across all facets of our lives.

But this responsibility doesn’t sit solely with retail businesses. To substantially impact congestion on our roads and carbon emissions through transport, every workplace must consider how it can support its people to adopt more sustainable commuter options.  

That may mean offering more sustainable modes in business fleets, incentivising the use of public transport, incorporating shower facilities into office refurbishments, adopting flexible work hours, investing in secure storage facilities, and making car share services more accessible for around-town travel.

In the Western Bay of Plenty, making changes to the way we travel could be the most impactful thing we do to improve the efficiency of our transport system, increase productivity and reduce our carbon emissions.

But we know this isn’t as simple as just swapping out your car every day, which is why being realistic about changing our mindset and modes of travel is key. Just one mode shift a week will have a positive impact on our transport networks and emissions.

Working together will ensure we have the right resources, knowledge and infrastructure in place to make the changes necessary to future-proof our region.

The alternative, if we continue operating in silos, is keeping with the status quo – severe congestion on our roads, rising costs, and more time in private motor vehicles, meaning lowered productivity and high emissions. 

Nobody wants that. If we work together now, we can change our future for the better.

To learn more about Mode Shift and the Shift Hub in the Western Bay of Plenty, visit the official Shift Hub Website:

To connect with our Sustainability Lead, Marissa Nikora, contact: