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Mayor’s Proposal To Make Public Transport Faster, More Reliable, And Easier To Use

Mayor Wayne Brown is proposing that Aucklanders pay no more than $50 a week on public transport, including bus, rail, and inner harbour ferry services.

“We need to get the most out of what we’ve already got and focus on doing more for less. This is just one example of a practical cost-effective improvement that can make a big difference for Aucklanders,” says Mayor Brown.

The new $50 cap would automatically be applied to HOP cards and comes at an estimated cost of $1.3 million based on current subsidies. Auckland Transport has also been asked to look at the feasibility of an annual pass.

From next year, people will be able to tap onto a bus, train, or ferry using Open Loop ticketing (using payWave, Apple, Google Pay, contactless debit and credit cards in addition to their current HOP card) to travel on public transport. Those with concession fares, will continue to use their existing AT HOP cards. This will reduce barriers to public transport for Aucklanders and visitors to the region, before adopting a government-led National Ticketing System (NTS).

In the preliminary mayoral proposal, the Mayor has earmarked $400 million for network optimisation and dynamic lanes, to get Auckland’s buses and traffic moving.

Progress on Auckland’s rapid transport network would focus on busways, in addition to finishing the City Rail Link. This involves completing the Eastern busway, progressing the Northwestern Busway, and upgrades to the Northern Busway. Improvements to transport corridors from Mangere to the Airport Precinct, and the Airport Precinct to Botany are also included in the proposal.

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More than $200 million is proposed for small capital works to improve the reliability of buses, as well as the standard of stops, shelters, and passenger safety.

“In recent years, our public transport system has been in crisis, but we have made progress on resolving the bus driver shortage and passenger numbers have increased to 80 percent of pre-COVID levels. We must focus on making it easier for Aucklanders to get around,” says Mayor Brown.

The preliminary mayoral proposal outlines efforts to cut congestion by progressing with Time of Use charges and reduce transport emissions in line with the national target to reach net-zero by 2050.

Next month, the Budget Committee will vote on what items from the preliminary mayoral proposal go to public consultation in February 2024. The final 10-year Budget (Long-Term Plan) 2024-34 will be adopted in June 2024.

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