1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister of Transport, Michael Wood
Keep half-price fares for everyone, for good!
We call on the Minister of Transport, Michael Wood, to make public transport permanently half price for everyone, and free for all under-25s, tertiary students, Community Services Card holders, and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people.
We want to see this funded by central government.
We also acknowledge the need for this government to increase the reach, frequency and quality of public transport in underserved areas.
Why is this important?
New Zealand should be a place where everyone can afford public transport to stay connected, enjoy our regions, and travel in a way that’s kind to the environment. In April 2022 the government halved fares, and that has helped people use public transport more often, creating habits of using cleaner travel instead of private cars.
But in January 2023, the government will END half-price public transport, returning fares to full price for everyone except people with a Community Services Card. Higher fares will force some people to break public transport habits and return to traveling by private car, causing congestion and harmful carbon emissions. Higher fares will force some people to travel less, and their wellbeing and communities will suffer as a result.
The solution is for the government to keep fares half price, for everyone, for GOOD! Extending half-price fares for everyone will:
***Reduce emissions by locking in new public transport habits
***Give more people a chance to switch to affordable public transport
***Reduce hardship in a time of high living costs
***Ensure no one misses out because they have not acquired a Community Services Card.
It makes sense for the government to keep fares half price, for good. Since April 2022, people across Aotearoa have seen the benefits for their communities and the climate, while the policy of halving public transport fares for everyone has been extremely cheap. In fact, the cost of half-price public transport for three months is between $25 and 40 million, compared with nearly $600 million spent on the fuel excise cut!
While they’re at it, the government should also make fares FREE for low-income groups and under-25s. Free public transport for full- and part-time tertiary students, Community Services Card holders, and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people will reduce hardship and help these groups use clean transport to get where they need to go. Free fares for under-25s will embed low-carbon transport habits among the next generation and remove stigma by showing that public transport is for everyone.
In a climate emergency, we need the government to use every lever it has to reduce carbon emissions; we cannot afford to let high fares be a barrier that prevents people from switching out of private cars. In a cost of living crisis, households need support. Making public transport affordable is a no-brainer.
Minister of Transport Michael Wood: Keep fares half price for everyone, for good, and FREE for those who need it most!