SuperGold Card transport review continues
SuperGold Card transport review moves into next phase
A planned review of the free off-peak public transport component of the SuperGold Card has moved into its second phase with targeted consultation getting underway.
The review is being led by the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the NZ Transport Agency. When the scheme was set up in October 2008, it was agreed that a review would be undertaken after the scheme had been operating for 12 months to ensure its ongoing viability.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the government is committed to the scheme but some changes will need to be made because it is currently stand on track to exceed the available budget.
“The highest priority of the review process is to consider how to keep the scheme within the available budget of $18 million a year, while continuing to provide improved mobility for older people.”
Among other things, officials will
• the level of reimbursement operators and councils receive
• how “off peak” should be defined
• the eligibility of certain high cost services- including the Waiheke ferry and the train service between Wellington and the Wairarapa
“The transport concession of the SuperGold card has an annual budget of $18 million dollars across the country - $2 million of that is currently spent on the Waiheke ferry alone,” says Mr Joyce.
The current review began in October last year and is expected to be complete by May of this year.
In conducting this stage of the review, officials will consult with a number of key stakeholder groups including: regional and local authorities, public transport operators, Grey Power, Age Concern NZ, the Returned Services’ Association (RSA), and the Ministry of Social Development’s Volunteer Community Co-ordinators for the Office for Senior Citizens.
Mr Joyce says he hopes those involved in this process will take the opportunity to put their views forward and help to ensure the sustainability of the SuperGold Card transport concession.
Terms of Reference for the review, the consultation document and questions and answers are available from the NZTA and Ministry of Transport websites.