From next Friday, 1 April, fares across the AT Metro network will drop by 50 per cent, saving passengers an estimated $10 million on bus, train and ferry fares over three months.
As well as covering individual trips, the discount covers all AT HOP monthly passes and concessions, and halves the current daily cap from $20, meaning Aucklanders will never pay more than $10 for a day’s travel on the AT Metro network. Total Mobility and AT Local will be included in the initiative.
Mayor Phil Goff says the savings will be welcomed by Aucklanders facing rising costs due to global inflation.
“Like the rest of the world, New Zealand is being impacted by inflation caused by pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions and the oil price shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he says.
“The decision by government to temporarily halve public transport fares and reduce petrol excise duties and road user charges will provide some immediate relief to commuters, particularly those on low and fixed incomes.
“Half-price public transport will also help people look to public transport as a cheap and efficient way to travel that enables them to avoid the higher fuel costs that the international oil shock has created.
“We also welcome the government’s commitment to maintain the high levels of investment in transport infrastructure agreed with council in the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, which will ensure we can continue to address the twin challenges of carbon emissions and congestion now and into the future.”
Auckland Council Planning Committee Chair Councillor Chris Darby says the half-price fares scheme cements public transport’s position as by far the most affordable way to travel around Tāmakai Makaurau.
“Regular public transport users know that Auckland’s bus, train and ferry services are a safe, reliable and sustainable way to travel around our city,” Cr Darby says.
“Public transport has for decades been an affordable way to travel around Tāmaki Makaurau, but from next week there will be an even more compelling reason to put the car keys away and get out your AT HOP card.
“The price difference between driving and catching public transport will be substantial, with our $10 daily cap meaning passengers could travel from Pukekohe to Gulf Harbour and back for the price of about 3.5 litres of petrol.”
Cr Darby says Devonport ferry services are commercial services, but they will be included in the half price fares initiative - as they are part of AT’s integrated ticketing and fares structure.
“Excluding these services would be costly, technically challenging, and likely to delay the overall introduction of half-price fares. The discount will apply with the use of an AT HOP card.”
Not only is public transport an affordable way to travel across Auckland, it’s also a safe way to get around in the age of COVID, says AT Group Manager Metro Services Stacey van der Putten.
“Public health authorities have recognised that public transport is a low-risk setting because of the strong safety measures in place, even during the Omicron outbreak,” Ms van der Putten says.
“Because of the nearly universal wearing of masks onboard our services and our operators’ thorough daily cleaning routines, our services are a really safe way for Aucklanders to get around.