Zone change for NZ

Cheaper fares and simplified zones are set to improve the Auckland bus network

Those travelling long distances on Auckland buses will see fares reduced, as part on an overhaul of the zoning system.

Free travel for children will also apply on weekends, when accompanied by an adult using at AT Hop card from mid-2016.

Auckland Transport general manager Mark Lambert says the move will simplify the zoning system and encourage more people to pay electronically, adding that the system needed to be updated.

 "We have to make it attractive, simple to understand and fairer for all," he says.

Lambert says the current system is complex and can be difficult to understand, especially for tourists.

A review showed the current zoning system is also inconsistent and results in different fares for similar trips.

 "There are also some anomalies between stages and relatively high fares for longer distances, while short trips are quite cheap," Lambert says.

It will also result in better integration of the public transport network.

Instead of being charged a separate fare for each ride, the fare will be calculated for the total journey even if you need to catch a bus and a train of different networks.

AT Hop card users will soon have the choice of using the stored value on their card to pay for each journey, or a simple monthly pass that will allow unlimited bus and train travel across all zones.

 A day pass will also be introduced, allowing unlimited travel on buses, trains and ferries.

There is also a desire to make using Auckland’s bus network more affordable for families.

"The new Family Weekender pass would let two children to travel free with each adult using an AT Hop card during weekends and public holidays," Lambert says.

More work is being done to incorporate different ferry operators and get them on board with the weekly and monthly passes.

 "We are continuing to work on how we can bring ferries into the simplified zone fares system, but it will take some time," Lambert says.

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