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Support for proposed fare changes

25 May 2006

News release from Greater Wellington Regional Council

Consultation finds support for proposed fare changes

"A majority of public submissions support changes to the fare structure of the region's public transport network," said Councillor Glen Evans, Chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council's Passenger Transport Committee on the results of the month long consultation.

1193 submissions on proposed were received by Greater Wellington, and of those 56% supported the proposed changes, 39% opposed and 5% were undecided.

"Councillors on the Passenger Transport Committee will now consider all the submissions, and will provide all submitters with a copy of the decisions that are made", said Councillor Evans.

Under the proposals, a new simplified fare structure would be introduced in September 2006, at the same time as a 15% increase in train fares proposed in Greater Wellington's ten year plan. Increases in bus fares would also be introduced at that time.

"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."

"In their comments people were mainly concerned that the quality and reliability of services needed to improve before fares were raised. Unfortunately this is a "Catch-22" situation, as we need the revenue from increased fares to pay for improvements to the system," said Councillor Evans.

Another feature of the proposed system is a universal concession fare for young people and senior citizens and a Metlink photo-ID card. 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.

In relation to the proposal to introduce a Metlink Photo-ID card 64% of submitters supported the idea, 27% of submitters opposed the idea and 8% had no opinion.

"Some senior citizens that have already paid for an existing Cityline or Stagecoach fare concession card opposed the idea. This is an issue we will have to seriously look at when the Passenger Transport Committee considers the results, probably at our July meeting."

ENDS

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