Wellington Scoop

There may be bus problems – but the fares aren’t going up

News from Regional Council
For a second year in a row there will be no rise in bus and train fares. The Wellington Regional Council confirmed in today’s council meeting that fares will continue to be held at current levels.

“This is good news for bus and train users,” says Chair of the council’s Sustainable Transport Committee, Cr Barbara Donaldson.

“Metlink is enjoying unprecedented growth in patronage across buses and trains. Holding fares will encourage even more people to use public transport and with more passengers we will see a positive impact on income,” adds Cr Donaldson.


  1. Katie, 21. March 2019, 15:46

    Wow Barbara, haven’t heard from you for a while. Come back with an attempt at a bit of positive spin? Sorry, too little way too late. Would you have been brave enough to have sent out this same press release were fares being increased?

  2. Ruth, 22. March 2019, 12:49

    Barbara, please!! The network is not enjoying unprecedented growth in patronage. I can only think you are counting transfers as new trips. What we are actually doing is suffering an unprecedented mess.

  3. luke, 22. March 2019, 13:19

    They can’t really put fares up, they are ridiculously expensive as it is. Public Transport needs to be the cheapest option for more than just solo trips to and from work and it’s plainly wrong that an uber works out cheaper than three people catching a train or bus.

  4. B. Dover, 22. March 2019, 20:57

    Ruth – yes, GWRC have admitted that trips now broken into multiple parts through their hubbing disaster, are counted as multiple trips. They seem to think it makes little difference to the numbers, and seemingly they are unable to get data out of Snapper to tell them which journeys are continuations.
    Perhaps they’re still refusing to pay for the data…

    Throws the patronage stats out the window; throws their credibility under the bus.

  5. Ruth, 22. March 2019, 21:54

    @ B Dover, yes they admit it when pressed but GWRC like Barbara still continue to send out press releases like this. I wonder if she thinks we’re stupid.

  6. Ruth, 22. March 2019, 21:57

    @BDover, yes you’re right they admit it when pressed. But a number of councillors including Barbara continue to say there is an increase, in press releases like this. They must think we’re fools.

  7. Marion Leader, 23. March 2019, 11:01

    “Contract Anew.” Is this a good name for a person to use to stand for the Regional Council at the next election?
    Following all the comments like Ruth’s about GW sending out propaganda on the basis that we are all fools, I have been talking to a possible candidate who might stand solely on such a ticket. Any ideas for names please?

  8. Casey, 23. March 2019, 13:17

    Luke: In the 1970s, bus fares Courtenay Place to Seatoun accounted for 5% of my then salary. For other staff in the company I worked for they accounted for 6 – 7.5% of their wages based on a 40 hour week, depending upon where they lived.

    Someone on the statutory minimum hourly rate of $17.70, as it will be from April, and working 40 hours a week, will spend 5.2% of their gross income if travelling in peak hours twice daily from Courtenay Place to Seatoun. Those on the so termed average hourly rate will spend 3% of income on bus fares for the same journey.

    The real issue isn’t the bus fares alone, rather it has more to do with low wages in relation to general cost of living increases. Council rates increasing yearly at an average rate 50% above wage increases, house insurance costs up 200% since 2012, the list of substantial increases is endless. To keep the bus fares at same level will impact all ratepayers, either directly or through rents paid to landlords.

    The PTOM has seen the public transport subsidies given to councils decline markedly, so petitioning for these to be put back up needs to be the focus.