The Wellington City Council will soon trial cheaper off-peak bus fares for students and weekend users.
The council has allocated $275,000 of ratepayer funds to subsidise the trial in an effort to put pressure on the Greater Wellington Regional Council to take more steps to cut fares. $75,000 of the funds will go toward a one-month trial for discounted off-peak student fares.
The move follows calls from the Green Party to include half-price student fares in the Greater Wellington Region’s draft Long Term Plan for 2015.
Regional Councillor Paul Swain claims Victoria University will be expected to make a contribution to the discounted fares if the trial is to go ahead. Swain remains skeptical of the trial, telling the Dominion Post “it’s good to have big visions, but those visions need to be affordable”.
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Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett is confident the trial will be cost effective, telling Newstalk ZB that “because it’s a good deal for more people, more people are going to use the buses, so ultimately it shouldn’t cost anything for the trial.”
VUWSA has been campaigning for discounted student bus fares for over three years.