NZ fares

A fare increase for public transport in the Wellington region seems unlikely for 2015

Public transport fares are unlikely to increase in the Wellington region this year because of as an increasing numbers of people catching the train and lower than anticipated international oil prices.

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) chair Fran Wilde says a final decision will be made later this month but the situation is looking positive at present.

"At our first workshop for the year, we received a briefing from staff that included some really good indicators: public transport passenger numbers are increasing by more than 2 per cent compared to this time last year, with an almost 6 per cent in rail passenger numbers, which directly benefits our revenue stream," she says.

"And oil prices are considerably lower than we had budgeted for. On that basis we agreed that a fare increase doesn’t seem necessary – but we’ll make a final decision in due course."

Council reviews public transport fares every year and has a policy of small, annual fare increases rather than very occasional large increases.

It also has a policy that fares cover more than half of public transport costs. Rates and taxes cover the remainder.

Wilde says it’s great to see council and central government’s investment in rail over the last few years is paying off.

"More people are choosing to take the train because the services are reliable, modern and enjoyable," she says.

 "However, our major focus now is the Wellington City bus network.

"We’ll be bringing in an entirely new network from 2017 with high frequency bus routes running across the city from Johnsonville to Island Bay and from Karori to Seatoun.  Fewer routes will start or end in the CBD meaning less bus congestion and faster journey times.

"We’re committed to delivering similar improvements for bus customers as those now being enjoyed by many rail customers."

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