Sustainability and economic development in the Bay of Plenty are both on the rise, but safety on the roads is still a major issue for the region.
These are among the key findings of the Regional Land Transport Strategy's data collection for 2012.
Regional Transport Committee Chairman Councillor Jane Nees said the results highlight both economic growth in the Bay, and positive change in travel choices.
"The data is a good indicator that people and businesses are making more considered transport choices, and also finding our transport services efficient, reliable, and good value for money," she said.
"It also shows that the Bay has seen some positive economic growth, with an increasing role for rail in the movement of freight in our region. The Port of Tauranga in particular continues to be a major source of economic development and with further investment planned this year, is on the right path for continued growth."
However, the report also highlighted that road safety was still a major issue.
"While fatalities and serious injuries on our roads have actually decreased, alcohol and speed are still major contributors to road accidents. Over a quarter of all fatalities and serious injuries have alcohol and speed as contributing factors," Councillor Nees said.
"It's quite clear from these statistics that safety on our roads is still a major issue and we need to work together as a region to improve our road safety statistics."
The findings showed that, from July 2011 - June 2012:
- The use of public transport in the Bay of Plenty increased from 8.2 annual trips per person to 10.6 annual trips per person.
- Fuel consumption reduced by 1.3 percent.
- Exports loaded at Port of Tauranga increased 20 percent, with more than 10 million tonnes of exports loaded. More than 332,000 containers, up 91,000 from the previous year, were carried into or from the Bay on the East Coast Main Trunk Rail Line.
- 96 percent of bus users surveyed in Rotorua and Tauranga rated bus services as good, very good or excellent.