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Are we there yet?
The campaign to see tertiary student fares introduced on Wellington public transport sometimes seems like the never-ending car ride to get to your family summer holiday destination, and you’re stuck in the middle seat.
One sibling has to go pee every ten minutes, the other is playing “corners” (but really just wants an excuse to push you over for four hours), and your mum refuses to listen to anything but ABBA on the stereo.
What I’m trying to say is, it’s been a hard slog — but there’s still more to go before we get to our final destination.
The time has come to make submissions to the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) draft Annual Plan. What they’re proposing is to delay all public transport programmes until next year, and “consider” a tertiary fare in 2018.
We need you to go to fairerfares.org and make a submission to ask that instead of their consideration, the GWRC needs to confirm they will, in no uncertain terms, bring in a tertiary fare rate in 2018.
And then tell your mum, granddad, neighbour, employer, workmates, and flatmates all to do the same.
Our aim is simple. We want to have so many submissions on this issue that it dominates their discussions around the table.
It’s also very important to have non-students support the cause. Councils often hide behind the idea that ratepayers don’t want their money spent on initiatives that may not directly benefit them.
But I disagree. I know there are many people throughout the region who pay rates and want to see students have better, more affordable access to higher education. If we’re supporting tertiary students, we’re going to be supporting and growing the Wellington regional economy — which ultimately benefits everyone.
So tell everyone: now is the time to start submitting. We’re almost there.