Press Release – KiwiRail
Fares for the Capital Connection will increase for all travel from 1 November.
As part of the ongoing drive to ensure the commercial viability of the Capital Connection service, there will be a 10 percent increase in fare prices for passengers travelling north of Waikanae from 1 November. Single and ten trip tickets will increase in price from 1 November and from 16 October all monthly and quarterly passes sold for travel from 1 November will be at the new prices.
“KiwiRail has been open with Capital Connection users about the challenges facing the service. We announced earlier this year that in order to retain the service and make it financially viable over the next two years, patronage would need to increase by 60 passengers per service and we would need to implement annual fare increases of around 10 percent year-on-year,” says KiwiRail’s General Manager, Passenger, Deborah Hume.
“Most Capital Connection trips are made with multi-trip tickets or monthly passes. These fares will increase generally by about ten percent for passengers travelling from Palmerston North, Levin and Otaki, with slightly higher increases for the less purchased single trips,” Ms Hume says.
“To create a relativity in ticket fares between Capital Connection users and Tranz Metro users, there is a 6% increase in monthly passes for people getting on the Capital Connection at Paraparaumu and a 2% increase in monthly passes for Waikanae passengers.
“Continued support and additional growth from passengers boarding the Capital Connection at Waikanae and Paraparaumu, in particular, is extremely important. To maintain our existing position, we have had to ensure that Capital Connection monthly fares from Waikanae and Paraparaumu remain competitive with the subsidised Metro fares from these stations,” says Ms Hume.
At the moment, approximately 2,685 passengers are using the service every week. Passenger numbers remain steady out of Palmerston North and Otaki, but there is a continuing decline in passenger numbers from Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Levin. The service is losing around $38,000 a month.
“We have a number of initiatives and marketing activities underway to try and grow patronage, including exploring options around online sales for monthly tickets and transferability with Metro services and working more closely with Destination Manawatu and other businesses in the region to identify opportunities for tourism and corporate travel.
“We are also asking Capital Connection users and the respective Councils to advocate within their communities to increase patronage and translate the strong calls to retain the service into more people using it every day.
“KiwiRail understands how important this service is to our passengers and we are endeavouring to make it commercially sustainable,” says Ms Hume.
For more information about the fare changes please go to KiwiRail’s Scenic website www.kiwirailscenic.co.nz