Thrifty travellers opt for bus or bike
They can be crowded, unreliable or cold, but they seem to be more appealing when petrol gets expensive.
Figures show the use of public transport, scooters and cycling has increased in the past when petrol prices have spiked.
In May last year, when petrol rose to $2.22 a litre, there was at least a 7 per cent increase in public transport trips compared with the previous May, Greater Wellington regional council media adviser Philippa Lagan said.
"Our average, monthly figures are usually very low percentage increases . . . 1 or 2 per cent on the same month of the previous year, so the May 2011 is significant."
Scooterazzi co-owner Mark Hodson said scooter sales often increased when petrol prices were high. In June last year, sales were very good and, three years ago, when there was a big price rise, it sold out and had to import more.
He was optimistic there would be a similar surge now, though it also depended on the weather. "If petrol went up in the peak season, like October, then we wouldn't be able to cope."
Regional councillor and cycling advocate Paul Bruce said petrol prices would always fluctuate, but he wanted to encourage people to think about modes of transport that would serve them in the future.
The Dominion Post