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Auckland Businesses Get Fareshare

Auckland Transport (AT) is expanding its Fareshare scheme which gives employers a way of subsidising a proportion of their staff’s public transport travel costs.

Businesses are welcoming the opportunity to offer an alternative to costly city car parking to attract and retain staff, whilst also contributing to their sustainability targets.

AT has been trialing its Fareshare employer subsidy, and due to the trial's overwhelming success with employers and employees, AT is now offering it to any Auckland-based business with five employees or more. Genesis Energy has been using the scheme since an office move from Greenlane to Wynard Quarter in 2020.

“Having historic carparks was such a big issue, so we needed to help staff transition to the new Viaduct location without using their car. [Wynyard Quarter] is an accessible office location and Fareshare has helped staff to investigate using public transport,” says George Higgins-Smith, Fleet, Transport and Travel Manager at Genesis Energy.

Genesis Energy employees using Fareshare have already travelled more than one million kms on public transport, which equates to a significant reduction in CO2 emission.

“We have calculated this milestone to equate to a reduction of close to 127 tonnes of CO2 emission; equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 27,029 Titoki trees per year1and reducing environmental impact of GHG emissions released by 53 standard cars driven for a year in New Zealand2,” says Cathy Bebelman, Chief Scientist at AT.

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Auckland Transport is investing in ways to make it easy, safe, and reliable to get around using public transport. This will reduce road congestion and travel times for those who must drive, as well as our impact on the environment.

“It’s an attractive employee benefit scheme and affordable for any size business as you are only billed when the card is used. Subsidised public transport provided to staff via Fareshare is also exempt from fringe benefit tax3,” says Richard Harrison, General Manager Growth and Optimisation at AT.

1 Using average carbon sequestration of Titoki-NZ oak tree of 4.69 kgCO2e/year/tree (adapted from the report of urban forest effects and values 2023-itree ecosystem analysis).

2 Using 2,410 kg CO2e per car per year in NZ. Estimated by using the average distance of 9,631 km travelled by light passenger vehicles in NZ and weighted average emissions factor of car 0.250 kgCO2e/km (MFE-2023 and MOT-2022).

3It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that legislation is complied with. Public transport needs to be mainly for the purpose of travelling between home and work to be FBT exempt.

GoSee Travel has also been trialling the scheme which kicked-off with employees attending an information session with AT’s Travelwise advisors. They were able to learn how Fareshare works and what their best options are to get to and from work on public transport using the AT Travel Planner.

“Registering to Fareshare was simple, it took less than five minutes to verify and link my card. The discount is great; it makes getting to work much more affordable. I am more inclined to use public transport now and save more money getting the bus than driving my car into work,” said one GoSee Travel employee.

The Fareshare scheme has options for five- or seven-days travel at a subsidised rate of 25, 50 or 75 percent loaded onto an AT HOP card for use on AT bus, train, and ferry services. The employee is charged the discounted rate, and the business is billed monthly for the additional agreed percentage of the fare.

“We would like to see more businesses offering Fareshare as an employee benefit, to get more people using public transport and at the same time, making a significant impact on the environment by reducing CO2 emissions,” adds Richard.

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