Greater Wellington increases public transport fares by 6%
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Posted: 23 February 2023 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet
In an effort to manage rising costs and improve services for commuters, Greater Wellington Regional Council has approved a 6% increase in public transport fares for the first time in two years.
Credit: Greater Wellington Regional Council
Greater Wellington Regional Council has announced that it will increase standard public transport fares across the region by 6%, following its approval during its Annual Fares Review (AFR).
Despite the patronage and farebox challenges of COVID-19, funding efforts to reduce the national driver shortages and high inflation impacting service costs, the regional council has not raised public transport fares during the last two years.
Councillors considered how best to manage the rising costs, around 13% over the last two years, within current budgets. As part of their deliberations, councillors also factored in ongoing patronage recovery since COVID-19, the impact of the government’s half price fares programme and the upcoming launch of the Community Connect Scheme, as well as the range of concessions Metlink already has in place.
Councillor Thomas Nash, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport committee, said: “Ideally, we want to keep fares as low as possible to encourage people to use public transport. But we also need to have the money to improve services so we can provide a service that is more convenient than driving. We are already putting rates up so the only way to get where we need is to increase fares at a pace that is easily absorbed by the community. This small fare increase will happen in conjunction with additional discounts off peak and for students and children, so in a lot of instances the net outcome will still be lower fares for those that rely on public transport the most.”
Half price fares are still in place until 1 July 2023 and after that those with Community Services Cards will have permanent access to half price fares.
Public Transport costs are funded by three main sources: fares, rates and national funding received via Waka Kotahi. Greater Wellington’s AFR is a means to adjust the contribution of one of these sources of funding to ensure costs are shared in a manner that is equitable and sustainable in the long-term. The AFR looks at the expectations of costs and revenue, and determines the extent of any fare adjustments required to balance the user contribution with public funding.
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Accessibility, COVID-19, Public Transport, Ticketing & Payments
Greater Wellington Regional Council