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July 20, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Scarfies Get Fair Fares

Students in Otago now receive a 25 per cent discount on all bus fares in Dunedin, after the Otago Regional Council (ORC) responded to a decade-long campaign by student associations.

Following a three-month trial period, the ORC recently decided to make the  discount permanent.

The decision came in response to lobbying from the Otago University Students Association and Otago Polytechnic Students Association.

ORC Support Services Manager Gerard Collings says the council is ”putting some faith in the students that they’ll migrate to public transport if the incentive’s there”.

OUSA President Ruby Sycamore-Smith said the move was “awesome news”, particularly for students living in Dunedin and farther away from the university.

OPSA President Rebecca Swindells says the discount will benefit students who use buses regularly, saving them $10 to $15 each week, a “significant amount when you’re living on less than $170 a week.”

She says previously students had been spending “almost 20% of their income on just 10 rides a week”.

VUWSA Welfare Vice-President Rick Zwaan says Otago’s discount makes Wellington one of the only cities without a student discount on transport. He says “it’s time that the Wellington Regional Council picks up its game.”

VUWSA attended a Greater Wellington Regional Council meeting on 11 June, and the council passed a motion to conditionally approve a 25 per cent on-peak student discount, provisional on funding from the WCC and the University.

Zwaan is hopeful that the Otago discount will add weight to VUWSA’s ongoing calls for Wellington to become a student-friendly city.

 

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