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Bus Fares Increasing Again

26 February 2013

MEDIA COMMUNITY RELEASE

DARAN PONTER, COUNCILLOR

GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL

Bus Fares Increasing Again

The Regional Council has once again voted for an increase in public transport fares - this time an average increase of 2%. Councilors Daran Ponter, Nigel Wilson and Paul Bruce voted against the increases.

This means that over the past three years public transport fares have risen by 8% on average.

The 2% fare increase for 2013 will result in increases in the cost of Snapper and Mana card fares by 3.8% for Zone 1 fares and approximately 2.5% in most other fare zones.

"This move further underlines the significant difference in ticket prices by train and bus users" says Councillor Daran Ponter.

As an example, regular train users use a monthly pass which entitles them to up to 40% fare discount. These discounts are not available to Wellington City bus users. Rather bus users get a discount for using a Snapper or Mana Card.

A regular bus commuter travelling from Seatoun or Island Bay pays $3.54 one way. A train commuter from Petone or Tawa travels nearly twice as far but because they have access to a monthly pass ticket with big discounts, they only pay $2.84 one way[1]. Over the course of the Year this means that a commuter from Petone pays $1,432 while a commuter from Island Bay or Seatoun pays $1,784.

This needs to stop. Wellingtonian's can't keep on baling out the rest of the region. We need a more equitable system that:

a. provides the same fare products to all public transport users;

b. provides for the same percentage discounts for regular commuters across all transport modes;

c. emphasises discounts for off-peak periods;

d. recognises the circumstances of younger New Zealanders, including students.

[1] Based on 42 single trips per month.
"The best means of providing for a more equitable fare system is the introduction of integrated electronic ticketing. But after three years the Wellington Regional Council is no close to the introduction of an integrated ticketing system." says Daran

ENDS

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