Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

1 October Bus Fare Increases - Daran Ponter

29 September 2013

Media Community Release

DARAN PONTER, COUNCILLOR

GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL

1 October Bus Fare Increases

Bus fares are increasing again on 1 October, this time by an average of 2% (GWRC Notice). The 2% fare increase for 2013 will result in increases in the cost of Snapper and Mana card fares by 3.8% for Zone 1 fares and approximately 2.5% in most other fare zones.

Councillor Ponter says that on average fares have risen by 8% over the past three years.

Council Ponter said that the Regional Council had justified the 1 October fare increases on the basis of “covering rising public transport costs"

However, the Regional Council's 2012/13 Year End result shows that the Council ran a significant budget surplus of approximately $4.5 million in the transport area (see table below).

Indeed, the Year End Report of the PT Group shows for the year 2012/13 the GWRC spent

PT Group 2012/13 Actual ($000s) Budget ($000s) Variance ($000s) Last Year ($000s)
Operating Revenue 94,107 101,186 (7,079) 95,629
Operating Expenditure 92,637 104,185 (11,548)1 92,861
Operating surplus / (deficit) 1,470 (2,999) 4,469 2,768

$11.5M less than budget on public transport services.

Councillor Ponter says "This means that the 1 October fare increases are simply not warranted." "It means that the Council through its own policies has kept prices high and that this year could actually have afforded to provide fare decreases!"

The Council's policy of increasing fares every year irrespective of the circumstances is just simply irrational and does nothing to attract people to use public transport says Councillor Ponter.

Significant Drop In Patronage

As concerning is the fact that peak hour patronage on Wellington buses has dropped by 10% over the past three years (from 11,288,335 trips in 2010/11 to 10,214,328 trips in 2012/13). See http://www.metlink.org.nz/info/statistics/patronage-numbers/. In the same period total patronage (peak and off-peak) dropped by 2%.

At a time when the Regional Council has been predicting patronage increases of 3- 4% per annum, we have gone in precisely the opposite direction, says Councillor Ponter.

Councillor Ponter says "These figures seriously bring into question the efforts that the Regional Council has been taking to encourage people onto public transport."

Councillor Ponter says "At the heart of the problem is the fare structure and the fact that the Regional Council is not innovative enough in its fare products".

Councillor Ponter says that "the Regional Council cannot sit on the sidelines waiting for next petrol spike." It needs a far more aggressive strategy for encouraging people and families onto public transport - cheaper fares, wider discounts, especially in the off-peak and a commitment to park and ride facilities for bus commuters.."


Click for big version.

Daran Ponter | Councillor GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL | TE PANE MATUA TAIAO

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Case For Nationalising Our Urban Bus Services


When it comes to funding and managing public transport, should local government or central government bear most of the responsibility for delivering a quality service? Ratepayers or taxpayers? Those basic questions re-surfaced yesterday, after the government announced its intention to scrap the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) imposed by the last National government in 2013. That model had required councils to use private contractors to run the buses, via a cut-throat competitive tendering process...
More>>




 
 

School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>


Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>

Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels