Free Fares Campaign Supports Further Extension Of Half-price Fares
The Free Fares Campaign is excited about the Government’s move to extend half-price public transport nationwide until January 31, 2023. We call on the Government, however, to take the leap and make fares free for under-25’s, tertiary students, Community Services Card Holders and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people.
The campaign has been urging the Government to do more in the space of public transport for months now, and are happy to see Kiwis continue to be given a cheap alternative to driving in the months ahead.
With a further extension, this will mean more Kiwis will have money in their back pocket to buy the things they need during the months ahead. It will support our lowest income families to ensure they have food on the table. It will keep university students attending their classes. It will give our most vulnerable the ability to attend their doctor’s appointment without having to spend too much. But it can and should go further.
Over the past several months, the Free Fares campaign has seen an outpouring of support from a range of organisations and individuals. Most recently, Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, the largest employer in Pōneke, formally backed our cause. The campaign is growing each and every day and more Kiwis are understanding that providing free public transport to those on the lowest incomes is critical to fighting inequality and the cost of living crisis.
We also believe that the cost involved in extending the programme once again reiterates our point that our cause is a cheap, but effective one. With the five-month extension this time around expected to cost $63.1 million, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the $589 million expected to be spent on the same extension to fuel excise tax cuts. Public transport is a cheap solution. It is also an incredibly effective solution.
We call on the Government to provide free fares for under-25’s, tertiary students, Community Services Card Holders, and Total Mobility Card Holders and their support people. It is critical that we make bold and meaningful change.