This project examined the demand for local bus and rail services during the period 1996 2008 in the three major cities in New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In order to determine the drivers behind changes in public transport ridership over time, econometric analysis techniques were applied to analyse the time series data of patronage of major public transport mode(s) in the three cities, collected for the last decade. A dynamic model was identified for each city by mode relating per capita patronage to fares, service level, car ownership, income and fuel price. The results indicated the three cities all had different characteristics and the drivers behind the long-run and short-run trends were also different. It also appeared that the significant fluctuation in fuel price in recent years had a positive effect on public transport patronage in all three cities.