Greater Wellington temporarily extends half price fares
Universal half price fares will be temporarily extended on the Metlink public transport network from 1 July until the government’s age-based discounts can be applied.
Greater Wellington regional councillors agreed to the extension today at an extraordinary council meeting, and also agreed to implement the discounts announced in the 18 May Budget.
The discounts, which let children under-13 ride for free, and under 25-year-olds ride at half price, can be introduced by Public Transport Authorities, when possible, from 1 July.
As Metlink is not able to activate the discounts at such short notice, and the government’s half price fares initiative concludes on 30 June, Council Chair Daran Ponter said extending half-price fares is a practical interim solution.
“Council welcomes the age-based discounts, but we can’t bring them in until our electronic ticketing partner, Snapper, has built a digital registration portal,” Cr Ponter explained.
“Metlink passengers will be expecting the discounts next month, so we’ve come up with a solution to tide them over until the portal is open in August.”
“Until then, no passenger will pay more than they currently do for public transport.”
Free travel for 5 to 12-year-olds will not be available until the portal ready, but for families who use public transport, the delay is likely to be mitigated by adult fares temporarily remaining at half price.
Extending half price fares will cost Greater Wellington approximately $2m per month, which Transport Chair Thomas Nash said could be funded from existing council budgets.
“We’ve asked the government to contribute to this cost as it’s signalled implementation funding for its discounts is available,” Cr Nash said.
“We know families depend on public transport and our temporary measures will help people to reduce their travel costs and their carbon emissions.
“Metlink is working as fast as it can to introduce the discounts our passengers are entitled to.”
More information on the temporary half price fares extension can be found at: Tickets and fares » Metlink
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