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Free off-peak travel for SuperGold Cardholders

September 26, 2008

MEDIA STATEMENT
Free off-peak travel for SuperGold Cardholders in Christchurch and Timaru from October 1, 2008.

Thousands of older people will be eligible for free travel at off-peak times on public transport services in Christchurch and Timaru from next week.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) and other councils around the country are being funded to provide SuperGold Cardholders with free off-peak travel on scheduled public transport services from Wednesday, October 1.

The SuperGold Card is available to all eligible New Zealanders aged 65 years or over and those under this age who receive New Zealand Superannuation or the Veterans Pension. The card was launched in August 2007, providing access to business discounts, government and local authority services, entitlements and concessions.

Off peak public transport hours are from 9am to 3pm and from 6:30pm to the end of service on weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays. Environment Canterbury will be reimbursed for SuperGold travellers from central government.

“Environment Canterbury is working hard to encourage people to use public transport and more than 60,000 people will be eligible for free travel with the SuperGold card in Christchurch and Timaru,” said Cr Carole Evans, ECan public passenger transport committee chair.
“Metro usage in both Christchurch and Timaru has increased over the past 12 months and this scheme will greatly assist people aged 65 years and older to leave their cars at home while at the same time, saving them money. I personally am looking forward to free travel on the ferry to Diamond Harbour to visit my son,” said Cr Evans.

The New Zealand Household Travel Survey shows most people aged 65 and over do most of their public transport travel during off-peak hours, making an estimated eight million trips per year on buses and trains.

SuperGold card holders in Christchurch are invited to call the Metroinfo line on 03 366 88 55; Timaru card holders call 366 88 44 for services and timetabling information. Or look up www.metroinfo.org.nz


ENDS

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