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Fly In Fly Out MPs Urged To Save Money And The Environment With Metlink’s Airport Express

Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter has sent new Members of Parliament a Snapper card, preloaded with $20, to jump on board Metlink’s Airport Express as they travel between the Beehive and boarding gate.

The Snapper cards are accompanied by a letter from Cr Ponter, gently reminding MPs that over the coming parliamentary term their expenses will be scrutinised to the last cent.

“Everyone is expected to be doing more with less at the moment, so this a great opportunity for MPs to keep costs down and use a sustainable form of transport that doesn’t add to the carbon footprint from flying up and down the country each week,” says Cr Ponter.

Metlink’s Airport Express runs seven days a week from Wellington Airport to the Wellington Railway Station every 10 - 20 minutes. From there it is just a short walk to Parliament.

“Like a cheaper yet equally comfortable Koru lounge on wheels, there’s free WIFI on board so MPs can do their work on the go. A one-way trip using a Snapper card takes less than $8 from the taxpayer’s coffers - far better value than $40 or more on taxi fares. MPs that forget their handy Snapper card can also use cash and contactless credit and debit cards onboard.

“The Airport Express also uses the Hataitai bus tunnel to miss the traffic that continues to build up around the basin while debate on Let’s Get Wellington Moving and State Highway 1 continues,” Cr Ponter says.

Patronage on Metlink’s Airport Express exceeded forecast demand during its first year of operation. 364,191 trips have been taken on the Transdev / Mana Newlands operated bus service since take-off on 1 July 2022 – 128% of the number expected.

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The all-electric fleet has saved 300-400 tonnes of CO2-e emissions when compared to what a diesel fleet would have produced.

“The Airport Express is a vital transport link for the region and a fully integrated part of our public transport network. We are pleased that Wellingtonians and tourists have embraced the service and now we hope MPs will follow suit,” says Cr Ponter.

“While Metlink doesn’t allow political campaigning on its services, travelling with the public may just give MPs an edge when it comes to their next referendum,” adds Cr Ponter.

A copy of the letter to MPs can be found here: https://www.gw.govt.nz/assets/Documents/2023/11/16112023-Snapper-on-board-the-Airport-Express-SIGNED.pdf

For more information about the Airport Express timetables and stops, visit Metlink.org.nz/airport-express.

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