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August 14, 2017 | by  | in VUWSA |
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VUWSA

Remember Fairer Fares? People have been approaching us lately asking, “what happened with that?” Admittedly after months, years even, of campaigning to get over 1700 submissions in support of Fairer Fares to the regional council in May this year, things have been a bit quiet. That’s because we were waiting for the Greater Wellington Regional Council to process all of the submissions and to release their subsequent draft long term plan.

But this draft long term plan has finally been released and we have some massive news  — a 25% off Snapper fare for all tertiary students in Wellington is included in the draft plan! This is the first time the council has included any kind of tertiary discount in fare review plans and it’s a massive win for us.  

This success is thanks to the hard mahi of years of VUWSA executives, leaders from Ngāi Tauira and the Pasifika Students’ Council, student volunteers, and all the other supporters within the university and wider community. Together, we have shown what students can achieve when they come together. If we manage to get this change passed, it will be one of VUWSA’s biggest successes in making life more affordable for all Wellington students.

So where to from here? On August 14, the draft plan will go out for consultation, and we will send a clear message that the 25% discount for tertiary students needs to remain in the plan. Keep an eye out for how you can get involved in this over the coming days.

Although the most important commitment is to the fare discount itself, the devil is in the detail. Much of this detail is yet to be worked out, but it will have a big impact on how good the discount actually ends up being for you. It includes things such as whether only full time students will qualify, whether there is a different coloured Snapper or “tertiary” Snapper card, and what you actually have to do to get the card.

Students in Auckland find their system pretty difficult and cumbersome, and it’s essential that we, and the council, take this opportunity to think about how to make any new discount fare easy to access for all students, for example, looking at whether we can have a student fare Snapper card built into the student IDs we get when we enrol. There are also issues to think about past the introduction of a bus student fare in terms of creating equal access for students on other public transport, like a Snapper card system on trains. Until that happens, the student fare won’t be available for train users, so the more pressure we put on the council to get this stuff to happen, and soon, the better.

Finally, it is important to note that the proposed transport changes do not include wins for everyone. There are a few groups who are not set to benefit from the changes, including our much valued bus drivers, who are facing significant threats to their jobs and pay. VUWSA 100% stands behind our bus drivers and publicly supports their campaign for fairer treatment, which you can get behind here: http://www.together.org.nz/thankyou-driver

On the topic of campaigns and young people’s power to create change, VUWSA is excited to be a part of the We Have Power campaign to get 100% of students in Aotearoa voting this election. We will be working with more than 15 other students’ associations and student groups around Aotearoa to mobilise hundreds of volunteers to make this goal happen and to put student issues on the political agenda this election. Check out www.wehavepower.org.nz!

 

In service,

Your Campaigns Officer and President, Raven and Rory

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