Council agrees a 1.5% fare increase to maintain Metlink services following one year funding freeze
Fares on Metlink services across the region will be increasing in line with inflation from February 2021 following a decision at council today.
In its annual fares review, Greater Wellington looks at the expectations of revenue and costs and determines what fare adjustments might be required for the following year to maintain good quality public transport services across the region.
Greater Wellington had signalled in its current Long Term Plan (LTP 2018-28) that fares would increase in line with inflation from 2019/20 onwards but decided to freeze any increase last year.
Roger Blakeley Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee says that 2020/21 is a different story.
“Against the backdrop of COVID-19 we’ve seen reduced patronage and fare collection. While we’ve seen a remarkable rebound in people using public transport across the Wellington region it still leaves ratepayers, the government and public transport users on the hook for any potential shortfall.
“Many people don’t know that public transport services are actually funded by three sources: Waka Kotahi as the government, fare paying passengers and rate payers across the region.
“We have the ongoing commitment of Waka Kotahi and along with this minor increase we believe we will be able to guarantee continued provision of good public transport without pricing it out of the hands of those that rely on it the most,” says Cr Blakeley.
Under the changes most bus and rail non-cash fares including Snapper, 10-trip fares, rail monthly and MonthlyPlus passes and Wellington and Eastbourne 30 Day passes will see an average increase of 1.5 percent.
There will also be a 50 cent increase in adult cash fares for zones 5, 10, 12 and 13, and child cash fares for zones 10 and 12. All other cash fares will remain unchanged. Cash fares are set at a 25 percent premium to the Snapper/ten-trip fares and then rounded up to the nearest 50 cent. Therefore increases to cash fares would only be made once the increase rounds up to the nearest 50 cent.
Ferry fares are traditionally set at a higher price than standard bus and rail fares and as a result, the non-cash ferry fares will increase by on average 2 percent. All other fares will remain unchanged.
Promotion of the changes and what they mean for passengers will roll out as part of a public information campaign prior to 1 February 2021 when they come into effect.