Wellington welcomes fare freeze
3 March 2017
Wellington residents will welcome the Regional Council’s proposal to freeze bus fares for another year and the promise of a comprehensive package of improvements and initiatives to come in the near future, says Mayor Justin Lester.
Greater Wellington Regional Council’s draft annual plan released yesterday proposes a further year’s freeze on fares, following on from three previous years where fares have not been raised.
“We’ve got to do more to make it easy for people to get around our city. Tackling Wellington’s congestion requires getting more people onto public transport and making sure it remains affordable. The freeze on bus fares has been helpful, he says.
“It’s also very encouraging to see GWRC is committed to a package of discounts for the 2018/19 fiscal year. The options being discussed for this package include a 25% discount on off-peak fares, introducing transfers without a cost penalty for people changing buses and potentially discounts for students as well.
“I’ve made it very clear that as a city we are keen to sit down with the regional council and work out ways in which Wellington City Council can contribute and help make Wellington a more student friendly city.”
Council’s Public Transport, Walking and Cycling Portfolio Lead Sarah Free says that the working relationship between WCC and GWRC on public transport issues has never been better.
“We have a working group between our councils that is discussing ways forward on these issues and I’m encouraged with the results we are seeing. Wellingtonians have told us improved public transport is a top priority. It frees up space on our roads, reduces congestion, and is the only way some people can get around,” she says.
"We need the weekend and evening services, free transfers, off peak discounts and more reliable services the Regional Council has been planning for some time. However, until they can bring those things in, I am pleased that they are holding fares.
“I want to congratulate the Regional Council on their approach and I’m looking forward to working with them to make the improvements we all want for Wellington a reality.”