Greater Wellington welcomes Budget 2023’s free fares for under 13-year-olds and half price fares for all people aged 13-25

  • Published Date 18 May 2023
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Greater Wellington Regional Council welcomed news today that free fares for under 13-year-olds and half-price fares for anyone 25 and under, will be funded as part of the Government’s Budget 2023 announcements. 

Chair of Greater Wellington, Daran Ponter, said the move would make public transport even more appealing and help families finding it difficult to balance their own budget. 

“This is fantastic news for people and communities across the country and here in the Wellington region. Many people have been feeling a pinch in the pocket so this will have a real impact on where people spend their money, how they get around and how they connect with each other,” says Cr Ponter. 

The discounts are part of the Government’s budget announcements today which aimed to support New Zealanders with the cost of living. 

Cr Ponter says the discounted fares will be introduced as soon as possible with a number of issues to be ironed out by public transport authorities across the country. 

“I am looking forward to taking this to Council and from there Metlink, Greater Wellington’s transport arm, will prioritise getting the necessary back-end work completed so we can introduce the new free and half-price fares as soon as is practically possible. 

“There are a number of public transport ticketing systems across New Zealand at present and this change will have to be managed differently from region to region. One of the challenges for many public transport authorities will be the implementation of age verification. I am confident that Metlink and its ticketing partner Snapper will find a way forward,” adds Cr Ponter. 

Travel in off-peak periods will now be especially affordable for those 25 and under, with Greater Wellington recently introducing 50% off-peak travel discounts, which will also apply to the half price fares. (See: Metlink to slash off-peak fares, make weekends and public holidays free for children » Metlink).

This latest announcement from the Government comes in addition to the previously announced half-priced fares for community services card holders and total mobility users. More information on the community card service holder and total mobility discounts will be released by the Ministry of Social Development in the coming weeks, alongside an information campaign from Metlink.  

Updated May 18, 2023 at 3:23 PM

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