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VUWSA presented a submission to the Greater Wellington Regional Council on February 22 that argued for a 50% discount on public transport for students. What are your thoughts on fairer fares? You are welcome to include some aspects of your party’s public transport policy.
Young Nats — Lower North Island
In principle, the Young Nats believe public transport is a local government issue and should be dealt with on a regional or city level. That said, we are very proud to support Wellington-based National Party MP Chris Bishop who joined with the VUWSA team in presenting to the Greater Wellington Regional Council, pushing for discounted tertiary student fares. Major student hubs such as Dunedin and Auckland offer their students discounted fares and if Wellington is to continue to compete as a destination for students, we must follow their lead. Every student we encourage on to public transport will reduce car congestion and emissions in and around Wellington, keeping our city clean and beautiful. We’re proud of National’s track record in the transport area, with investments in cycleways and roading making Wellington a more accessible student city, and look forward to further efforts from local MPs and authorities.
— Sam Stead
Students are an important part of Wellington’s economy — without them there would be no Victoria, Massey, Otago School of Medicine, Whitireia, or Weltec.
Alongside tuition fees, most students pay for accommodation, food, and other necessities. Yet with the meagre $176.86 p/w allocated for student loan living costs, most of those studying have very little, if any, money left to pay for public transport.
Forking out a decent proportion of their weekly budget to pay for public transport is a ridiculously unfair burden for those trying to further their education — most of whom aren’t earning full-time.
Student allowances are not something that local government is able to remedy, however fairer fares are. They were one of Wellington’s Labour Mayor Justin Lester’s campaign promises in last year’s election. Government of all levels can be active in making students’ lives a little bit better and easing their financial burden. We fully support VUWSA’s submission.
Greens at Vic
“Please pay the driver” are the four little words every Wellington student dreads hearing when they passively-aggressively press their Snapper card against the machine.
“Fairer fares” is more than just a quirky name, but a great concept. Every student is acquainted with having to use public transport — and each time grumbled about how expensive it is. Public transport is the most environmentally sustainable form of transport —classic “clean green machine” work.
Allowing students to have the ability to use it more frequently would encourage a more extensive use of public transport, which would alleviate financial stress and encourage sustainability.
The Green Party of Aotearoa envisions implementing a sustainable transport system that supports liveable, people-friendly towns and cities, encouraging the safe movement of goods locally, regionally, and nationally with the least amount of social, environmental, and financial cost. Fairer fares for students is the first of many steps that would make this achievable.
— Elizabeth Gaiduch
If you are a representative of a youth political group and wish to participate in this section, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.