Wellington Scoop

Metlink to test free and discounted fares next March

News from Metlink
Metlink has announced that it will be trialling a range of new fares in March, including free or heavily discounted fares on weekends. Details of the trial are yet to be fully developed but could include a range of discounted, bundled and even free fares on bus and train services.

Scott Gallacher, General Manager for Metlink, says the trial will help provide valuable demand insight to help plan for growth and service design changes, as well as pave the way for new fare products as part of the introduction of integrated ticketing system.

“We want to test the resilience of the Metlink network during this trial to see how demand for services are affected when different price packages are put together. This is part of our ongoing commitment to passengers to provide a reliable, attractive, and modern public transport service across the region that builds on lessons learned at home and overseas,” says Scott Gallacher

This trial comes on the back of a number of exciting initiatives from Metlink, including: Early Bird Fares, Snapper on Rail for the Johnsonville line, Cashless Express Services, and On-Demand Services in Tawa.

Scott Gallacher says that fares are likely to be only one component of the trial with other initiatives across the network likely to feature too.

“We’ll be providing more detail on the trial in the New Year but like our growing electric fleet, the Hospital Express and our upcoming Airport Service next year – the message to passengers is that we want to be at the forefront of change, we want to test what’s possible and more importantly make people’s journeys better,” says Scott Gallacher.

The trial was announced at Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee today, with committee chair Roger Blakeley calling it a potential game changer not only for how people use and view public transport but for climate action and decarbonisation too.

“We’ll be providing data from this trial to our funding partners at Waka Kotahi so they can consider how public transport can be funded in the future to help our region and others encourage more people to take it up and leave cars behind,” says Cr Blakeley.


  1. Thomas Nash, 25. November 2021, 20:01

    Let’s drive down public transport fares and make buses and trains cheaper and more convenient than cars. Free fares on weekends is a good start! Free fares for those who need them most even better. And, like Boston, free travel on certain routes also cool. [via twitter]

  2. Keith Flinders, 26. November 2021, 7:59

    Thomas Nash: Come up with a method of doing what you suggest without adding further to the rates impost, and I am sure the majority will be behind you.

  3. bsmith, 26. November 2021, 8:45

    1. Boston has an overall population of +4million.
    2. Driving down fares, will drive down wages/services etc. Someone will have to pay, more rate rises?
    3. If this is going to be a trial, why wait till March? Makes no sense when we are going into autumn.

  4. Thomas Nash, 26. November 2021, 13:00

    One of many good things that happened at the transport committee this week was the report on our Snapper on rail trial in which Metlink told us that we are on track to provide fully integrated ticketing across rail and bus in the whole region by the end of next year. Huge! [via twitter]

  5. John Rankin, 26. November 2021, 14:47

    Keith Flinders: introduce a congestion charge for people bringing private cars into the central city; use the fees collected to make public transport fares cheaper. Job done.

  6. Peter B, 26. November 2021, 20:42

    Greater Wellington’s Transport Committee needs to consider the use of the Gold Card in the afternoon Mon to Friday 3 to 6.30pm. Welly Gold card holders will then be on the same basis as Auckland and get cars out of the city and utilizing public transport. With WFH there is spare capacity in public transport we need to maximise the resource. Bring it on.

  7. Ray Chung, 26. November 2021, 21:19

    I agree with Keith Flinders about implementing a congestion charge. It works very well in Singapore and London but I’m not suggesting that anyone from the GWRC needs to get on an aeroplane to go to look at it!


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