With summer road trips on the horizon, and the dozens of short trips you’ll be taking to the city, to supermarkets, to everywhere to do last minute things quickly before Christmas... we thought it was a good time to talk about how you’re getting around.
Leaving the car at home and sorting another way to get from A to B is not only good for the environment, but often for your physical and mental well-being. And it means you'll avoid December's nightmare CBD parking.
Here are a few ideas about how to keep moving without the gas guzzler.
1. Do you need to take that trip?
Online shopping is like magic. Dozens of options at your fingertips, arriving on your doorstep in days. We’d still encourage you to shop local, a lot of Wellington retailers will have an online shop too (that includes us!). For big items like a bike or an appliance, can you get the company to deliver? Can you make someone a gift instead of going shopping? Everyone wants cookies and hug vouchers really.
2. Take the trip with a friend. Or a stranger.
If you need to take the car, take a friend who lives nearby and/or wants to go to the same set of shops or the same beach or playground. Half your transport impact between you and spend time with someone you like. If you’re a bit bolder, try carpooling or rideshare schemes. Check Smart Travel (they can help you find carshares as well as buddies for cycling and walking!) or download the Chariot app for people interested in carpooling.
3. Hire an electric vehicle
A few car hire rental companies now rent EVs, which is a good option for summer road trips. Even better, sign up for a Mevo membership and see if you can go car free for a few months.
4. Walk! Or run, skate, etc.
If you can walk to your destination, do! Make it more interesting by taking a friend, making a playlist, or listening to podcasts. Suburban shopping centres are blossoming in Wellington: in Berhamphore you can get everything from a tailormade suit to a pair of earrings and some chocolate. In Island Bay there’s a pop-up eco-gift shop, a bookshop across the way and Empire Cinema does movies vouchers. Do we even need to mention Newtown? What delights are in your local shopping centre?
Summer is a great time to dust off the bike, give it a tune up, and travel Wellington’s crowded pre-Xmas streets at a faster pace than most drivers in cars. Find parking everywhere. If you can’t face Wellington’s hills and wind, hire an electric bike. Cargo bikes are so hot right now. You too can be a part of it. Rent one to do your pre-Xmas errands with from Bicycle Junction, or if you’re lucky enough to live in Aro Valley, join their cargo bike share scheme.
6. Trains and buses
We know, they’re not the glamour solution of travel options. But if you plan it right (use Metlink’s RealTime services to cut waiting times), and take entertainment (podcasts, a friend, the humble book) it can be pretty relaxing. Especially after Christmas Day, buses and trains in Wellington are quiet – you’ll always get a seat!
Public transport is also awesome if you’re going lots of different places being able to trek from one end of town to the other and then catch a bus home from there, rather than having to trek back to fetch the car. There are still all day or all weekend passes on Metlink services too.