Wilson Opposes Bus Fare
Hike in Wellington
The Kapiti Coast Regional Councillor Nigel Wilson has opposed moves by the Greater Wellington Regional Council to raise bus fares in Wellington.
The fares could go up by up to 50 per cent for a short ride across the inner city.
“I don’t think there should be any increase until we know precisely who will benefit,” Mr Wilson says.
The council did not raise fares last year, he says.
His remarks came when the Regional Council heard proposals for raising bus fares in the heart of the city from September, to generate a revenue increase of 3 per cent – with more to come.
This means public transport users face 10 years of fare increases, with inner-city Wellington bus passengers the first to have to pay more..
The proposals for increases were passed at a Council’s Transport and Access Committee meeting.
They will now be discussed with bus operators.
The meeting heard that this year’s increases were needed to balance the books — and there would be similar increases over the next 10 years.
Councillor Paul Bruce said the increases should be delayed, to allow a review of routes and fares.
But Councillor Judith Aitken said it was “blissfully populist” to oppose the fare increases.
“It’s irresponsible and glib to say there should be no increase in fares,” she said.
City section fares – between Wellington Railway Station and Courtenay Place – will go up from $1 to $1.50. Snapper card users will pay $1.20.
One-zone cash fares – at present $1.50 for an adult and $1 concession – will go up by 50 cents each. That represents increases of 33 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.
Fare revenues are expected to rise from $65 million in 2009-10 to $70m in 2012-13, because of increased passenger numbers.
However, expenditure will also rise, because of improvements to the rail network.