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Feedback invited on new Metlink fare structure

Feedback invited on new Metlink fare structure

Greater Wellington Regional Council is seeking feedback on a proposed new fare structure for the Metlink public transport network, to be released on 18 April for public consultation.

Features include one set of common fares for bus and train services in the Wellington region and universal concession fares for young people and senior citizens.

Under the new system all people aged 18 years and under and 65 years and over will be able to travel at approximately half price on any Metlink bus or train service. Currently the public transport operators have different eligibility for discounted fares; senior citizens get reduced fares in some parts of the region and not in others.

Fares for both buses and trains are based on a new structure of 14 travel zones radiating outwards from Wellington city. The more zones you travel through, the more you’ll pay.

It is proposed that an average 15% increase in train fares will coincide with the introduction of the new fare zones for trains on September 4 this year. Zone based fares for bus services are likely to come in at the same time or soon afterwards. Bus fares will increase by varying amounts.

The new fare structure was developed by Greater Wellington and regional public transport operators following earlier consultation in 2003 which showed strong public support for a more simple fare system.

“This signals the next stage of improvements to the Metlink public transport network,” said Greater Wellington’s Passenger Transport Committee chairperson, Glen Evans. “It’s all about making things simple. We believe we’ve designed a new fare structure that’s easy to understand and use, but we want to give people the opportunity to comment on our plans before we finalise them.

“It makes sense to introduce long overdue fare increases at the same time as the new system,” said Mr Evans. “Train fares haven’t gone up since 2002 and there hasn’t been a general increase in bus fares in Wellington city for six years.

“We need to increase fares to catch up with significant rises in fuel and other running costs, and to ensure that public transport users pay their fair share of the $516 million upgrade planned for the Metlink network.”

Leaflets explaining the proposed new fare structure will be available from 18 April from more than 100 Metlink timetable outlets, on buses and at train stations and from the Metlink Service Centre, phone 0800 801 700. You will also be able to view the leaflet and provide your feedback online at www.metlink.org.nz.

Consultation on the new fare structure opens on 18 April and closes 15 May 2006. Final decisions will be announced in late June 2006.

ENDS

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