Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Reduced bus fare for Tauranga students

Reduced bus fare for Tauranga students


18 February 2014

Tauranga students affected by the Ministry of Education’s withdrawal of out of policy school bus services from the start of next year will have to pay a fare, but it will be at a reduced rate.

Councillors at Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Public Transport Sub-Committee meeting on Friday agreed in principle to implementing a reduced fare for BayHopper services for the Tauranga school bus transition.

From January 2015 the Ministry of Education will no longer fund “out of policy” school transport in Tauranga. This refers to students who do not meet the Ministry’s eligibility criteria for bus transport but who currently may be able to use school bus services funded by the Ministry of Education. The Regional Council is planning for the increased demand for public transport that will result.

Councillors on the Public Transport Sub-Committee were asked to consider the fare policy to be implemented, with a lower fare than the current BayHopper student fare recommended.

An estimated 3000 students will be affected by the school transport changes, of a total of about 23,000 students attending schools in the Tauranga urban area.

“This decision will provide some certainty for schools as they consider the issue as part of their annual planning, and will help prepare parents for the transition from the Ministry of Education-funded services,” Public Transport Sub-Committee Chair Lyall Thurston said.

The Regional Council’s project advisory group, which includes representatives from the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Ministry of Education, the Bus and Coach Association, and schools, has previously given an indication of support for the introduction of fares.

“We accept that this will not be welcome news for those families with children who find they will have to pay a bus fare from next year, but the provision of bus transport will place a cost on the community and that cost has to be met in part by users, the same as it is for all public transport services in the country.

“We are already working with schools, affected students and parents, to develop solutions together and want the community to help us shape a new SchoolHopper bus service and we will be consulting the wider community as we go through the process,” Mr Thurston said.

Following the decision about fares, Regional Council transport staff will now start work on confirming the routes, with community input.

Councillors may be required to reconsider the in-principle fare decision as better information comes to hand, and once a final decision has been made, fares to be charged will be included in the Regional Council’s Annual Plan and Ten Year Plan.

Funding and procurement approvals will then need to be finalised with the New Zealand Transport Authority and contracts entered into with operators.

Background
§ In March 2010 the Ministry of Education and Bay of Plenty District Council signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to align the provision of school transport. The MOU acknowledged the Ministry is required to withdraw from providing “out of policy” school transport in Tauranga.

§ Many students already use existing BayHopper services with children making up about 20 percent of bus patrons.

§ Regional Council’s transport team put forward three options for potential fare solutions for the transition phase of replacement school bus services and agreed in principle to Option 3:

Option 1: Implement the fare policy in the Regional Public Transport Plan, which does not include a concessionary fare scheme specifically for students;

Option 2: Charge students the same fares as they are currently charged on BayHopper urban services ($1.80 per ride for cash or $1.44 with a Smartride card);

Option 3: Lower fares than currently being charged.

For more information go to the SchoolHopper section of www.baybus.co.nz

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news