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Proposed fare structure a huge missed opportunity

DATE Thursday, 27 June 2013
FROM Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association

Regional Council’s proposed fare structure a huge missed opportunity

Victoria University of Wellington Students Association has today said that the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s recently released draft fare structure is a spectacular failure of vision.

The draft structure purportedly seeks to make public transport in the region more affordable and easy to use, yet does nothing to help tertiary students in Wellington struggling with transport costs.

VUWSA Vice-President Welfare, Rick Zwaan said that it doesn’t make sense secondary school students receive more support under these changes, when they often live at home with the financial support of their parents, while tertiary students get nothing.

“Yesterday's decision goes no way to show that we are a community that values the talent that tertiary students bring to our region,” said Mr Zwaan.

“The fare structure reform process was an important opportunity to increase the equity of our public transport system. The Regional Council should have used this opportunity to spread the benefits more evenly and introduced fairer fares for tertiary students.”

“There are thousands of tertiary students who are currently being forced to wade through ferocious Wellington weather to simply get to class due to the prohibitive cost of transport.”

Mr Zwaan said that despite the lack of leadership and vision from the Regional Council, VUWSA’s campaign for Fairer Fares would continue the push for a more equitable fare structure.

“We need to be a region that values talent, and gives bright minds a reason to come and contribute to our economy. Tertiary concessions would help achieve that,” said Mr Zwaan.

Mr Zwaan said that the only potentially positive change for tertiary students, a 25 per cent discount on off-peak travel, is set down for the long-term section of the plan, meaning tertiary students will be forced to wait for at least 10 years for any financial relief.

“This plan could have increased the equity and sustainability of Wellington’s public transport system as part of a vision for a vibrant Wellington. Instead, we’re left with a Regional Council who continues to ignore the financial plight of tertiary students,” said Mr Zwaan.


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