Wellington Regional Councillor Paul Bruce is calling for Wellingtonians to back his proposal for a three month trial of zero fares for Wellington buses on Saturdays and no cost transfers.
Cr Bruce is proposing that Greater Wellington Regional Council include the trial in its draft 2015/2016 plan. Wellingtonians are urged to send in submissions to GWRC during the plan’s consultation period 16 March to 20 April or attend engagement meetings around the region.
The trial would come ahead of the planned integrated ticketing package planned for 2017/18 which would see integrated fare package including capped fares and no cost transfers.
Although this one ticket approach is a good move, says Cr Bruce, he wants the council to act now in the interests of the city. “Wellington is attracting talented migrants, innovative business and forward thinking investors, all who will impact on the transport network. We need to provide innovative transport options for our region in ways that add to the area’s appeal and reduce congestion.”
The positive economic gains from having long term free trains and buses on Saturday will be reflected in improved local retail and hospitality sales, Cr Bruce says. “Zero fares, no parking hassles and greater connectivity throughout the region will encourage people to get out there.”
The social gains will also be enormous, he believes. “People who choose to go out on a Saturday night and consume alcohol will know they can use free public transport to get home before midnight. Free weekend parking already provided by WCC, costs retailers a similar amount, but with fewer overall benefits. ”
Councillor Bruce feels the cost of fare revenue from 3 month’s Saturday ticket sales will be able to be easily met from this year’s operational surplus from increased rail passengers. He says that patronage will increase on buses when we offer favourable fare packages and more reliable services. He would like to see zero Saturday fares adopted ultimately in the region through the planned capped fares.
For more information and all media enquiries please contact
Paul.Bruce@gw.govt.nz P 021 0271 9370 | 04 972 8699