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Small increase in public transport fares recommended

Small increase in public transport fares recommended

A small increase in most non-cash fares for bus, train and harbour ferry services is being recommended by Greater Wellington Regional Council officers.

Council policy is to review fares annually. Any decision by Council to proceed with a fare increase will be consulted on publicly in April as part of the draft Annual Plan process.

A report to the Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee meeting next Tuesday (18 February) recommends that most non-cash fares increase by 1% from 1 October 2014. For example, a 10-trip ticket to Waterloo would increase from $40.80 to $41.20, a bus trip from Wellington Station to Miramar, using Snapper, would increase to $3.67 from $3.63 and a monthly rail pass to Waikanae would increase to $301.80 from $298.80.

“An increase in fare revenue would help offset costs of providing public transport services which usually increase each year, says Wayne Hastie, the Regional Council’s General Manager, Public Transport. “Bus running costs, for instance, rose by about 1.7% in the last year and 3.5% the year before. Also we’re required to ensure that fares contribute around 55% to direct costs so the increase would keep us within that ratio.”

The recommended fare increase is in line with the Council’s five-year programme, adopted in 2012. “Increasing most smart card fares by a small percentage each year and increasing cash fares in different zones each year helps ensure evenness and fairness for fare payers throughout the region. It avoids the nasty shock of a huge increase every four or five years.”

Along with the 1% increase in most non-cash fares, officers recommend a 50 cent increase in adult cash fares for zones 1 (inner city), 7 (between Wellington and Pukerua Bay, Upper Hutt), 10 (Waikanae), 13 (Otaki, Carterton) and 14 (Masterton).

Dr Hastie says the increase to zone 1 cash fares would be the first since 2010. Examples of zone 1 trips are from Wellington Station to Courtenay Place, from Porirua Station to Porirua CBD, or from Waterloo Station to Queensgate.

“Operators prefer cash fare increases to be rounded to the nearest 50 cents for cash handling purposes, so this increase to zone 1 fares would be significant.

“However if we don’t increase zone 1 cash fares, the smart card discount would be less than 20% - our policy is for smart cards to provide a minimum 20% discount on cash fares. “It’s a much better option to use a smart card or 10-trip ticket.”

The report on the recommended fare increase is available at http://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/council-reports/Report_PDFs/14.25.pdf

ends

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