The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has voted down an initiative to provide a 25% subsidy for student bus fares.
The amendment to the Annual Plan was proposed by Councillor Sue Kedgely after hearing submissions made by students and receiving a petition signed by several thousand people.
“I’m extremely disappointed that fellow councillors did not support my amendment today,” Kedgely said.
“The issue has been stalled now for a number of years and students desperately need a reprieve from extremely high fares which see students in some parts of the region paying $85 per week to get to university.”
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A 25% discount is already in the long-term plan, but an implementation date has not been specified.
VUWSA President Jonathan Gee was also disappointed in the GRWC, saying “we have seen yet again our decision-makers stall on making fairer fares a reality. We will be mobilising students over the next few months to make fairer fares an election issue in the upcoming local body elections.”
Labour-affiliated councillors voted against the amendment. This comes despite Labour-backed Mayoral candidate Justin Lester announcing a policy last week to introduce concession fares for students.
The Auckland Council currently provides a 40% student concession on public transport. In Palmerston North public transport is free for students.