Let's Go Community Logged Since January 2012


Tell us Your Story

Tell us your active commute story and be in to win. Every story we publish we'll send you a Let's Go gift to say thanks!

Nikki's story

Mode: Walk
Route/destination: to WITT
How far: 2km each way Girls walking.

I have twin daughters who have been reluctant to walk the 2k to and from school each day. We are not on a bus route so if they don't walk, I have to take them in the car. This also prevents me from walking to work  - 2km in the opposite direction.

Therefore I designed a strong motivation for young teens, money! For every trip to and from school that they make by themselves I pay them 50c. So if they walk to and from school every day, that is $5 added to their pocket money. My calculations were based on what I would save in petrol costs by not running the car to school and then to work.

Now my girls happily walk to and from school most days which frees me up to walk to work as well.

Petra's story

Mode: Bike
Route/destination: Bell Block - New Plymouth Girls High School
How far: 8km each way

A few years ago I moved from Auckland to Bell Block and my parents were very busy looking for jobs. I couldn't catch a ride, as they were busy and it was killing money we didn't yet have. We researched busing, which turned out to be too expensive on a long term basis and I couldn't walk because it is too far, so my parents considered biking.

One weekend before I started biking we went on a family bike ride to test it. It was long and hard, but it wasn't impossible and with the help of a brand new bike it was easier. Over time the trip has become easier and easier, developing muscle, saving money and the environment. The only downside of biking on the walkway is the sandflies, yuck! But nothing my cool shades and a bandana across the mouth can't solve.

Now, only on rainy days or when it's below seven degrees do I catch a lift. It's always fun riding and I get some peace. The other day I counted 12 wild rabbits on the way home, it is just awesome!

Laine's story

Mode: Bike
Route/destination: Hurford Road to CBD
How far: 25km return each day

We are a one car family with two pre-schoolers living 7km out of town up Hurford Road. When we decided to live out of town two years ago we also decided to try to limit our car use to the same that it was when we lived in New Plymouth. When you are in town you think nothing of jumping in the car to pop into the CBD to pick something up. With a little fore thought and patience a lot of these trips can be combined, so now we think ahead and combine a trip into town with getting groceries etc. This makes for less frequent trips, but driving further on each one.

I've always been quite active and have car pooled, biked,  walked or taken the bus to work all my working life. With the semi-retirement of a colleague last year my then current car pooling did not work and given the uncertainty around the Oakura bus service, my wife and I decided to invest in a second vehicle... an electric bike. So far this year I have clocked up 3,000 km and am on track to hit 5,000 if the first 12 months of owning the bike. The bike will pay for itself in 18 months, so it's a great investment. Given I have perverse enjoyment of riding home in the rain (with great rain gear of course) it works well for me! And at the end of the week I can ease up a little and let the bike do more of the work for me.


Margaret's story

Mode: Carpool
Route/destination: Tikorangi to CBD
How far: 25km return each day

I make sustainable travel to work by resisting the easy option of buying a second car. My partner and I used to travel separately to work because he starts earlier than I and had a work vehicle. Because he had the work vehicle I sold my car so we only had the one, which I drove to work. When he lost his work vehicle the first impulse was to buy a second car. Instead of doing that I changed my work hours to start a little earlier, and we now travel together. There are benefits other than reducing cars on the road, we also get more time together and I can an extra hour at the end of the day to relax, walk, shop, swim before we meet. Win win!

Carol's story 

Mode: CarpoolTwo women in leaning on the side of a car.
Route: Manaia-Westown via Stratford
How far: 75km each way (car pool for 40km each way)

I used to live within walking distance of work but once I moved in with my partner, who was too busy on the farm to be travelling to New Plymouth all the time, I had to rethink my commute.

Although I have to travel a long way I still spend less time in the car than most Aucklanders so this wasn’t an issue for me. However when I heard about the Carpooling website I thought why not? I travel via Stratford which had a few other NP commuters listed on Let’s Carpool. I trialled carpooling with several people but admit I found it hard to find something that suited.

A friend of mine knew I was carpooling and when she saw a post of someone’s asking to Carpool  on Facebook she tagged me. It was Jessica Sturch, a student at WITT. She travels from Stratford to New Plymouth in order to complete her studies. With the bus being expensive, carpooling with me was a more realistic option on a student wage.

She now travels with me Monday-Wednesday and with a friend Thursday and Friday. I enjoy the company and the shared travel cost is a bonus.

Antony's story

Mode: Bike
Route/destination: Frankley Park to CBD
How far: 3km to work-longer on the way home

Let’s Go has created a bit of a dilemma every morning as I head off to work. It’s not a car vs public transport argument, or even car vs bike – as a single car family a car isn’t in the equation.

Thanks to what Let’s Go has done to our bus and bike routes, it’s a three-way argument between a mountain bike, a road bike, and a bus. It’s a tough call, usually resolved using a complex matrix of season, weather, time of sunset, and a need to commune with nature/work off the weekend’s excesses.

The direct route is the road bike – door to door in around six minutes, almost entirely downhill. The fun route is the mountain bike – one streamside walkway, two intersections and almost no interaction with traffic. And the bus offers a handy backup on those rare days when Taranaki’s sunshine is of the liquid variety.

The best bits? It’s a tie between the reinvesting the average $2,500 spent a year to fuel a car into fine Taranaki coffee/shiny bike parts, and being able to take the long way home.


Karen's story

Mode: Bus, Bike and Walk
Route/destination: Westown/CBD
How far: 3-4km

We used to live within 5-10 minutes walk of both our workplaces so we mostly walked to work. When we bought a house in Westown we had to rethink our commuting plans as neither of us had a free car park.

My husband decided he wanted to cycle so he purchased a bike and has been using it almost every day since. He is able to shower when he gets to work which is good!

He prefers cycling to driving because he gets some exercise and he doesn't have to worry about finding a park. We also save money on petrol.

I have been doing a combination of walking and bussing. When I walk, I go via the Huatoki Walkway. This is very scenic and more shaded in the summer. It takes between 30-45 minutes depending on how energetic I'm feeling!

If I bus, I walk around the corner to the Westown shops and catch it from there. It is a bit of a walk to the bus stop and from the CBD bus stop to work but at least I get a bit of exercise still. Thanks to Let's Go and the TRC I got a discount pass for the bus which makes it very affordable at $1.30 a trip.

When I lived in Wellington I would always bus to work and I am disappointed with the stigma attached to bussing in New Plymouth. Some people think that only "poor people" catch the bus which is stupid because it's a smart choice. The bus I catch always runs on time and I feel good knowing I'm doing my bit for the environment. I also don't have the hassle of finding a park and having to pay for it

Janice's story

Mode: Riding
Route/destination: Upper Merrilands to Taranaki Hospital
How far: 10km

I've ridden my bike to work for the last five months. I started by riding my road bike and luckily never got a puncture (broken glass always seems to be in the cycle lanes)! As the bike is worth quite a bit of money, I am lucky enough to be able to keep it in my office. I also have a locker so have a supply of work clothes, shoes, toiletries etc at work. 

A few months ago I “borrowed” my son's mountain bike, rode that for a few months and then decided to buy some “slicks”. I ride a longer way to work, (10km each way) my reason is to get some more kilometres in, but in reality it's to avoid Cumberland Road hill at 6.30am and to not break out in too much of a sweat!

When I ride to work the mountain bike, I know it’s going to take another 10 minutes than on my “roadie”, but it just puts me in a “cruise mode” frame of mind.  I honestly find it really relaxing and enjoyable and I don’t even mind drizzle, head winds (small white lie) and the cold.  I have got real bright lights so know that cars and trucks will certainly see me but of course I ride with the attitude that others don't see me.

It’s such an invigorating way to start my work day and I have got used to people at work saying: “you didn’t come to work by bike today did you” (when its wet and cold and miserable)? And I proudly say: “Yep I certainly did, maybe I will grow up one day and become sensible”! Nah, I don’t think so.

Jill's story

Mode: Scooter
Route/destination: Upper Vogeltown to the CBD
How far: Around 15 minutes

Jill proves there’s more to active travel than walking and riding with her novel (for adults) way of getting to work in the CBD. Jill’s preferred mode of active transport is her trusty scooter. “I love roller blading but there are too many hills, so I thought what else gives me the freedom to roll a bit, walk a bit and I came up with the idea of a scooter,” says Jill.

Her black and silver scooter was very affordable: “I worked out that two and a bit weeks of scooting and not paying for petrol paid for the scooter”.

The scooter is also very convenient with the way it can fold up to be carried, it takes up very little space at work and at home and is faster than walking – which is handy for those days when Jill wants an extra few minutes in bed! And as Jill adds: “Scooting makes me feel like a kid.”

Jill lives in upper Vogeltown, which is all downhill to work. On the days she doesn’t scoot she walks, gets a lift with a nearby work colleague or, if the weather doesn’t play fair and she’s pushed the snooze button one time too many she resorts to driving.

And you thought scooting is just for kids.

Jason's story

Mode: Ride
Route/destination: Various
How far: Varies from 1-10km
I let my driver’s licence lapse a few years ago and started cycling to my gardening appointments and haven’t looked back. Most jobs are within 10 kilometres of my place. Wet weather gear helps on the rainy days and one of my team does any of the driving we need, like taking away large amounts of green waste. I ride for pleasure too – lunch at Fitzroy or Bell Block beach and rides along the walkway.


Tiana  and Lakein's story

Mode: Ride
Route/destination: Bell Block to Sacred Heart and home again
How far: 5km each way
We started riding to school last year when we were at primary school. We find it faster than the bus and a good way to keep fit (Lakein tries to clock up 30-50km a week as she cycles competitively). We ride two to three days a week as we fit it around our other school and sporting commitments.

Lucy and Tracey’s story

Mode: Riding
Where: School drop off and work commute
How far: 5km round trip

When we moved here from Auckland six years ago we decided to see how we got along with just one car. How it works for us is the person with the kids has the car and the other one rides to work. This worked pretty well until our eldest started school and we had to work around school hours. So now I ride with Lucy to school using our trail-a-bike (to keep it fun), then ride on to work while my husband does the day care drop off with our son and later, the afternoon pickups. Saving money and the hassle of additional car ownership are our primary motivators, but I also like the incidental exercise we get, being outside on nice days and the healthy, sustainable choices we role model to our kids.

Pete's story

Mode: Cycle
Where: Fitzroy to the hospital / return
How far: 12km return trip
I’ve had Achilles reconstruction surgery and I need to build my calf and leg muscles up, cycling is great for this. It is also good for my general health. I’ve been riding on and off to work for six years and I ride to exercise the dogs, go to the shops and most importantly, for me, check the surf. In an ideal world I’d like to paddle my wave ski to work!  I like to see and be in the outdoors, feel the cool air in the mornings and get the heart rate up. It’s far more invigorating than sitting in the car. Timing the traffic lights right or going past colleagues in their cars are simple things that feel good.

I’ve always been easily taken back to my teens when I jump on my bike, back before I got my licence when my bike was ‘my wheels’; jumping curbs, doubling friends, getting to the beach and cutting corners. As an adult these things are still great fun and it’s hard to not grin sometimes riding along. I like to keep some bikes at home for visitors too so they can explore our walkways and parks and get around under their own steam.

Sophia’s story

Mode: Bus
Where: To town, work, out and about
How far: 3km
I started taking the bus last year and I am now a convert.  It is a cheap, convenient and entertaining way to get to work, town and out and about. I used to walk everywhere but I find I can fit more in to my day using the bus and it is a nice way to unwind between activities. My daughter is also a big fan and often waves to the bus drivers as they go past our house. The drivers always greet her and help us load her pushchair on the bus.