Auckland public transport fare to increase to offset rising operating costs

Posted: 18 January 2024 | | No comments yet

Auckland Transport responds to surging operating costs with a 6.2% fare increase starting from 4 February 2024, to sustain and enhance the city’s public transport services.

Auckland public transport fare to increase to offset rising operating costs

Credit: Auckland Council

Auckland Transport (AT) has announced that public transport fares in the city will increase starting from 4 February 2024. The decision to raise fares comes as a response to significant and sustained increases in operating costs that the transportation agency has faced in recent years.

“This year we are having to increase fares to keep up with the rising cost of running and maintaining Auckland’s public transport network,” said Stacey van der Putten, AT’s Director of Public Transport & Active Modes. “Operating costs have spiked dramatically over this period, driven by high inflation and staff shortages. Adjusting fares to raise revenue is unfortunately one of the steps AT needs to take to cover these higher costs.”

AT conducts an annual review of fares, considering changes in operating costs, available budget and factors such as the cost-of-living. Typically, fare adjustments are implemented in February. However, recent challenges, including the impacts of COVID-19 and extreme weather events, had led AT to defer the fare increase until April 2023, and no increase occurred in 2022.

The surge in operating costs has been attributed to high inflation rates and staff shortages. To address these challenges and ensure the continued operation and improvement of public transport services, AT has decided to implement a weighted average increase of 6.2% across its fare structure.

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For standard adult fares, this translates to an increase ranging from $0.06 to $0.40 per journey on buses, trains and ferries. To mitigate the impact on commuters, Auckland Transport has committed to limiting the increase for longer journeys to only 1% to 4%.

Ms. van der Putten reassured Aucklanders, saying, “We are committed to keeping public transport an affordable option for all Aucklanders, so the increase for longer journeys is only 1% – 4%. Shorter journeys on Auckland’s public transport will still remain some of the most affordable in the world when compared with many other international cities.”

Despite the fare changes, AT anticipates continued patronage growth, contributing to increased revenue to cover operating costs. The introduction of contactless payments for fares via debit/credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay later in 2024 is expected to further boost accessibility to public transport.

Furthermore, an independent review of AT’s fare structure is underway, exploring initiatives such as a weekly fare cap. The findings of this review are expected in the coming months, promising simpler fares and enhanced affordability for frequent public transport users in Auckland.

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