Bus, Train Fare Increase: Only Question is How Big?


An Auckland bus and train fare increase is not a question of if but by how much?

Today, suggestions one is pending were dampened down in the media but the word on the street suggests one is planned for early next year and it may not be pretty.

Unofficial speculation  ranges from anything between 3% and 8%, with train passengers bearing the brunt of it.

If true, it would not be a move that has officials pleased - but is being forced on them by the change in the government funding and the way passenger transport is subsidised.

It’s the government’s so-called farebox recovery, which the regional council and other councils have formulated submissions expressing concern at having to pass on costs to the public.

Will commuters be on board with paying more?

Initial assessment by ARTA into the scheme suggests that to raise fares sufficiently to achieve a 50% farebox recovery ratio would “involve pushing a number of current passengers into cars, and that the consequent increase in congestion would be an economic cost to the region in the order of double the increased fare revenue.

“In addition, the switch to car use would result in additional air and water pollution, community impacts,greenhouse gas emissions, and in due course additional expenditure on increased road capacity.

Its report said that fare level reviews should be undertaken regularly to take into account changes in costs and inflation, but to ensure fares remain affordable and that the relationship between public transport fares and car operating costs matches policy objectives.”

But to keep the services going, councils will have to increase the user-pay, which means higher bus and train fares.

Train commuters, sampling the new Newmarket station and smelling other improvements on the way, may wear increased fares if they are announced after the Newmarket station honeymoon in mid-January but bus users, who are still smarting about the industrial dispute disruption this year, may not be so happy.

Because of  students finishing for the year and now the Christmas period, it’s still not clear  yet from monthly statistics what impact that disruption has had on numbers using public transport.




  1. Nathaniel flick says:

    Raising bus fares will only put pressure on existing clientelle to look elsewhere for transport.

  2. Brent C says:

    They shouldn’t be increasing the rail fares until all the works to the line are finish and new trains arrive!

  3. Johans says:

    What for? To pave the motorways with gold?

  4. William M says:

    To be fair, we haven’t had fare increases on the rails for three years. If you account for inflation, we should have at least had a 12% increase in fares since 2006. They have held back due to customer satisfaction, and other factors, however. If we held the fare increases back another year or so (i.e, when the EMU procurement is complete), we would have to factor in further inflation, and this type of fare increase would be harder for patrons to wear. If we start the increases now, further increases in future will not be so unbearable.

    My 2c.

  5. Christopher says:

    I dislike Aucklands fare system for the trains I wish theyd have a fare system like melbourne has. My opinion I suppose Im not really a rail genius at all.

  6. Shavay says:

    I dont think it good that they are putting the fares up they just put the fares up about 9months ago


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