Public transport fare changes

Greater Wellington Regional Council has ignored the campaign for fairer fares for tertiary students as it drafted a new fare structure for all bus, rail and ferry trips.

Instead concessions will be aimed at everyone aged under 19 (50%), and discount for all off-peak travel (25%). Proposed changes also feature:

THE NEW FARE STRUCTURE*

Short-Term Plan (next 2 to 3 years)

  • Maintain the existing 14 travel zones but make minor boundary changes to better align fares with distance travelled
  • Introduce a weekend family pass for up to four children, under a specific age, travelling with a fare-paying adult
  • Introduce a 50 per cent discount for everyone aged 5 to 18. (Children under 5 already travel for free)

Medium-Term Plan (next 5 to 7 years)

  • Introduce a universal smartcard payment system
  • Eliminate “transfer penalties” on smartcards so passengers do not pay extra to move between bus, rail and ferry
  • Introduce a cap on fares that sees passengers stop paying beyond a certain amount of trips
  • Enable companies and organisations to bulk-purchase public transport period passes at a discounted rate
  • Include the cost of public transport to and from a venue in the price of entry tickets to larger events
  • Have the same fare structure and fare products in place for both bus and rail

Long-Term Plan (more than 10 years)

  • Introduce a 25 per cent off-peak discount for all travel from 9am to 3.30pm and after 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, and from 5am Saturday to midnight Sunday, as well as public holidays.

*Applies to all bus, rail and ferry trips.

Glensor pointed out that the system for implementing the new fare structure was a slow one, as more detailed planning needed to be done in some areas and negotiations still needed to happen with bus and rail companies to make sure the plan was viable.

This always seems to be what comes from Peter Glensor – it will take time, it costs too much money, you can’t have it, or central government should do it.

Hopefully the next chair of the regional council’s transport committee and others elected in October take a more innovative and ambitious approach to developing truly outstanding public transport in the region.

Councillors had a good opportunity to get that ball rolling by adopting (or integrating aspects) of the fairer fares campaign that would have seen huge benefits for not only students, but the region and public transport.

Instead they’re plodding along and (from the looks of things) we have to wait up to 10 years for an off peak 25% discount.

Picture 24

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5 responses to “Public transport fare changes

  1. From memory this is the second time that’s happened. Maybe they’ve forgotten they own it? Sad thing is, that wouldn’t surprise me if they had forgotten.

  2. That is a ridiculous time frame. Some of us will be half way to our gold cards by the time the off peak rate hits. Pardon my lack of excitement. And still doesn’t address the difficulty of getting to and from work

  3. Yes, I agree that the timeframes are not flash, but this is an industry in which everything has to be negotiated and planned for – with government, with operators, with communities. The time frames for introducing the off peak fares relate to the timeframes for introducing integrated ticketing to Wellington.

    Integrated ticketing in turn relies upon the government committing the $$$. The Government won’t do that until the Auckland integrated ticketing system has been successfully completed. And I have to say that for once, I am happy to let Auckland be the guinea pig…..as frustrating as it is to see opportunities missed in the meantime.

    Other cities around the world, Sydney and Melbourne, spring most immediately to mind, have made a real balls-up of integrated ticketing – costing millions of dollars. We need to be careful not to fall into the same trap.

  4. Pingback: City Watch #7 | WCC Watch·

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