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Bus and train fares to rise on 4 September

News release
21 July 2006

Bus and train fares to rise on 4 September

Bus and train fares will rise on 4 September 2006, Greater Wellington Regional Council has confirmed. Train fares will increase by an average of 15% and bus fares will increase by varying amounts. At the same time, new fare boundaries will come into effect.

The decision was made at a meeting of Greater Wellington’s Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee following public consultation in April and May on a new Metlink fare structure based on 14 zones. This introduces a single set of fare boundaries for nearly all public transport services in the Greater Wellington region and is a significant step towards making an integrated ticketing system feasible.

The fare increase applies to Metlink train and bus services operated by Tranz Metro, Stagecoach Wellington, Cityline Hutt Valley, the Flyer, Mana Coach Services, Newlands Coach Services, Runciman Motors Limited, Wairarapa Coachlines, Tranzit Coachlines, Classic Coaches, Community Coach Services, Paraparaumu Taxis and Madge Coachlines. It does not apply to the harbour ferry or cable car services.

“More than a thousand public submissions on the proposed new fare structure for the region’s public transport network were received by Greater Wellington and the majority* supported the proposed new fare structure outlined in the “Fare Go” brochure, said Councillor Glen Evans, Chairman of Greater Wellington’s Passenger Transport Committee.

“This recognises the fact that fare increases are long overdue,” he said. “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.

“Fares need to increase to catch up with rising fuel costs and to help pay for much needed public transport improvements. Reliability of services, particularly the performance of the rail network, emerged as a key issue in the consultation feedback and the new trains we’re bringing onto the Wairarapa Line next year and the Kapiti, Johnsonville and Hutt Lines from 2010 should help address that. It’s hard to ask people to pay more before they see the benefits, but fare increases are a vital part of funding much needed upgrades and there is an inevitable time lag before the new rolling stock appears.

The new Wairarapa carriages are being built now and will be in service next year,” said Councillor Evans.

The public were also invited to give feedback on universal concession fares for young people and senior citizens and Metlink photo-ID cards. No decision is being made on the extension of concession fares until further work on affordability and timing has been completed. Existing Wellington City and pensioner fares will increase on 4 September 2006 to be the same as the new child fares.

Introduction of a Metlink ID card was generally supported and is likely to be introduced in 2007. It will be made available to young people until the end of the year they turn 18 and to seniors who may find it useful.

A new Metlink fares leaflet will be released in mid August in conjunction with a wider promotional campaign to ensure that people are well informed about the new fares before they start on 4 September 2006.

* 55% of submitters supported the proposed new fare structure.

ENDS

For more information, please go to the Metlink bus and train fares report for the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee at http://www.gw.govt.nz/section1159.cfm?MeetingID=5766

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