Wellington Fares Up


Two-thirds of Wellington bus and train commuters are in for a fare increase.
Wellington’s regional council has pushed ahead with a fare increase from September 1.
Wellington’s regional council says multiple trip or cards (Snapper) will cost 5% more.
Two thirds of all Wellington public transport trips are made on these so it affects a significant percentage of commuters yet unlike Auckland. Wellington’s bus patronage has been flat and that is blamed on the last fare increase in October.
Peter Glensor, Chair of the Council’s quaintly named Economic Wellbeing Committee which oversees public transport, says the increase would give the Council an overall increase in revenue of about 3%.
Several councillors opposed the move and he acknowledged that fare increases were never welcomed by passengers.
He says the justification is to meet ongoing and increasing costs of Wellington’s public transport network.
“We know, and have had this stressed to us recently through submissions on the proposed annual plan, that one of the things people in the Wellington region want most of all is a high quality, modern and convenient public transport network. As a Council we are absolutely committed to providing this but for a relatively small population such as Wellington’s the costs are huge.”

The Councillor says: “We try, through regular fare increases, to share these costs as fairly as possible.”

He said the Council decided a few years ago to try and increase different fares in different years to ensure the impact of fare increases was spread as fairly as possible.
“Last year, for example, there were some quite substantial increases to single trip cash fares and for trips of more than 11 zones. This year there will be modest increases for multi-trip fares on trips of up to 10 zones.”
Some historic Johnsonville train fare anomalies will also be removed from 1 September. “There is no real rhyme or reason for these fares so from September all fares on the Johnsonville Line will be standard three-zone fares.”
Special stadium train fares will increase by $2 per round trip for adults and $1 for children.
Harbour ferry fares, Day Rover, Three Day Rover and Group Rover train fares and after midnight bus fares will not increase.
Cr Glensor said the surcharge on the Wairarapa to Wellington train for passengers from Upper Hutt and Waterloo will be removed permanently. “This surcharge was removed temporarily earlier this year when we were experiencing serious overcrowding problems on the Hutt Valley Line. Clearly the change was well received and does not seem to have caused any problems for Wairarapa passengers so the surcharge will not be reinstated. The surcharge on Wellington to Wairarapa trains will remain.”

He said the fare increase was also in line with the Council’s farebox recovery policy which aims to ensure that about half of the costs of public transport are met through fares. Council ratepayers and central government make up the other half. This policy is now being made compulsory by central government.





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