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Waka Kotahi is releasing an evidence package on Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) by light vehicle. The package is being shared with local government to support the planning and work to reduce light vehicle VKT and transport emissions by 2035.

This evidence package provides insights into current trends, including VKT, emissions, mode share and access to essential services.  It also includes insights drawn from research and case studies regarding the interventions likely to make the greatest contribution VKT reduction.

With the release of the Government’s first Emissions Reduction Plan under the Zero Carbon Act 2019 in May 2022, all councils should contribute to an overall reduction in transport emissions by 41% by 2035 (as compared to 2019) and a reduction in VKT by cars and light vehicles by 20% by 2035.  

Anticipating these requirements, Waka Kotahi began exploratory work in the first half of 2022 to identify possible pathways to deliver light vehicle VKT reduction targets. This links to the development of our Arataki - 30 Year Plan.  Considering the value of this analysis to the wider transport sector, it has now been compiled as a package of evidence for land-use and transport planners, network designers and operators across the country. Through this release Waka Kotahi is testing the value to our partners in sharing such evidence, as well as exploring the best vehicle to do so.

Arataki - 30 Year Plan

The VKT evidence base can support the work Waka Kotahi and local government need to do to identify where to focus efforts for the upcoming regional and national land transport planning as well as the development of VKT reduction plans and programmes.

The evidence base comprises of:

  • current VKT data, tends and patterns,
  • insights into customer behaviour and trip types,
  • existing trends in mode share, accessibility, GHG emissions and VKT by urban areas,
  • emissions from freight transport
  • extensive Geospatial, graphical and textual mapping.

The evidence base covers urban, provincial, and rural aspects of VKT and provides initial insights into the indicative cost and critical dependencies for different interventions to contribute to the required levels of VKT reduction.

The scale of the VKT challenge ahead, combined with current capacity and capability challenges, mean opportunities to maximise the existing system must be fully leveraged. This evidence base supports this planning and can potentially be expanded and developed further if adds value for our partners.

The evidence base is available as:

Please share your feedback on the VKT evidence package and suggest areas of further investigation please contact