Student Welcome Support with Transport Costs
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) welcomes the announcement from the Green Party that it will introduce free off-peak travel on public transport for all students, identifying it as a long overdue acknowledgement that the cost of getting to and from classes is a significant burden.
“The real costs students face each week are increasing faster than the student support they are entitled to: in housing, in transport, in textbooks, in course fees, this would make a significant difference,” said Daniel Haines, President of NZUSA.
“In our most recent survey two-thirds of students national-wide identified transport as a significant weekly cost for them, with students in Auckland spending a quarter of their weekly allowance getting to and from classes”, said Haines.
“We’ve been campaigning on regional differences not being recognised in terms of accommodation support, and for many students transport is their second largest regular expense. It also varies in terms of whether or not people can walk or cycle, and in terms of cost. The current system is simply unfair.”
“Transport impacts on study choices and on access to education. In main centres, many students are forced to study at the institution or campus closest to them, even if it doesn’t offer the course they’d most like to do.”
“This policy would encourage students to use public transport, and public transport suppliers to provide better routes and times to suit classes. It would free up parking around campuses while making better use of buses and trains when school students are using them.”
“We support the universality of this scheme. Currently transport subsidies for students is incredibly inconsistent, this policy covers all tertiary students whether they be undergraduate or postgraduate, youth guarantee or in a trades academy.”
“This policy builds on the good work of Councils who are providing discounted or free travel for students, and the students who have argued for those provisions, it’s great that the student voice has been heard. We wish the Green Party the best of luck that they’ll be in a position to implement this policy, we pledge to help in their efforts to convince other parties of the sense of it.”