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Cheaper bus fares for off-peak travellers

Greater Wellington Regional Council today agreed to an earlybird off-peak bus fare trial, making travel cheaper for morning commuters.

Greater Wellington Transport Committee Chair Roger Blakeley says the trial, beginning on 10 February, will provide off-peak Snapper fares for Metlink bus services prior to 7am on working days.

“Our public transport network is experiencing patronage growth at a rate that is much higher than expected. Over the last calendar year there was a 6.8 per cent increase for bus, and a 4.8 per cent increase for rail.

“It is great to be part of an agile council which is able to quickly offer and evaluate trials like this to unlock capacity on the network.

“This trial means customers who are happy to travel earlier will be rewarded with good value for a good service,” Cr Blakeley says.

Peak bus fares currently apply to all services in the morning on working days, from just after 5am until 9am.

“With spare capacity available on early morning services, this opportunity will incentivise passengers to travel earlier than 7am, spreading the demand over a wider period in the morning peak.

“The off-peak fare is 25 per cent cheaper than the base Snapper fare, and between 40 to 50 per cent cheaper than adult cash fares, so the earlybird fare is a win-win,” Cr Blakeley says.

Metlink General Manager Greg Pollock says the trial has the full support of bus operators and the NZ Transport Agency.

“Our ongoing and planned improvements to the Wellington City Bus Network review will help to improve supply and service levels in Wellington.

“However, capacity remains an issue while we continue to deal with a national bus driver shortage, so this earlybird fare reduction will help spread the load so our passengers can have a more comfortable journey,” Mr Pollock says.

The trial will apply to adult Snapper customers only, and will not be available for cash, Super Gold, or rail passengers.

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