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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news