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Free off-peak travel for SuperGold Card holders

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Annette King
Minister of Transport

26 September 2008 Media Statement

Free off-peak travel for SuperGold Card holders


More than 500,000 SuperGold Card holders around New Zealand will be eligible for free off-peak public transport travel from next week, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Transport Minister Annette King announced today.

The Government is providing funding of $72 million over four years ($18 million a year) for the SuperGold Card free off-peak travel scheme for card holders.

“Most regional councils around the country are ready to roll out travel concessions from Wednesday 1 October to SuperGold Card holders to enable free off-peak travel on bus, train and, where applicable, harbour ferry services within a region.

“SuperGold Card holders in these regions who show their cards will be able to travel for free on public transport from 9am to 3pm and from 6.30pm to the end of service on weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays,” Helen Clark said.

“Buses, trains and harbour ferries are a critical means of getting about for many seniors, and this initiative will ensure that cost will no longer be a barrier to their travel plans.

“The regions ready to roll out free off-peak travel on 1 October are: Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu/Wanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. Northland, Taranaki and Marlborough are expected to be ready to roll out the concessions from 1 November,” Helen Clark said.

Transport Minister Annette King says the concessions will benefit approximately 530,000 New Zealanders.

“SuperGold Card holders will have increased mobility and greater access to goods, services and social activities in their local communities.

“The New Zealand Household Travel Survey shows most people aged 65 and over do most of their public transport travel during off-peak hours, making an estimated eight million trips per year on buses and trains.
“I am sure this trend can only get better as people take advantage of the new concessions,” Annette King said.

More information on free services in specific regions can be obtained from regional councils.

The creation of the SuperGold Card was part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and New Zealand First signed after the last election.

For more information on the SuperGold Card call 0800 25 45 65 or visit www.supergold.govt.nz.


ENDS

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