Zonal Fares For Auckland Public Transport
Currently in Auckland we have a tri-system of fare setting when riding on a bus or train. Meaning we have three sets of fare structures from; stages, zones and “day passes” that you can choose from when wanting to go from A to Z and back again in Auckland.
My post last month on “Here Come the Zones” points out what Auckland Transport is thinking currently:
HERE COMES THE ZONES
Auckland Council and Transport to Change Public Transport Fares
This came across while cruising Stuff.co.nz this afternoon while on lunch break:
Auckland commuters may soon get cheaper and more consistent travel through a zone-based fare system which would allow unlimited travel within a certain area and timeframe.
Auckland Council’s Transport Committee will tomorrow discuss different options forintegrated ticketing and is expected to adopt the system after pulling out of a deal with electronic card supplied Snapper last month.
Despite the introduction of integrated ticketing, like the HOP Card, the current fare system does not adequately support the city’s public transport goals, city officers believe.
At present, short trips can cost more than long trips because of stage boundaries.
For example a train trip from Morningside to Grafton is two stages, while the much longer trip between Kingsland and Britomart is one. As each route has its own stage boundaries, there are a number of anomalies in the system for trips from one point to another.
A train trip from Sylvia Park to Britomart is three stages, but three to five stages by bus, depending on which bus is taken.
The new system would mean that users could have unlimited travel within a certain number of zones across a certain time period.
Seems we are advancing forward (finally) indeed. Now we await with what actual proposal Auckland Council and Auckland Transport come up with.
Now moving to zone based fares would be awesome as it is easy to work one’s fare and a cap on your fare should be provided for your day’s travelling meaning you do not blow your budget out of the drink. Now as we witness the roll out of integrated ticketing across the public transport network, the time is about to come to have a discussion on integrated fares as one would say.
Meaning what fare you pay on the bus, will be consistent with what you pay on the train and in some respects the ferries here in Auckland.
Now I have no idea what Auckland Transport nor Council have in mind with a zone based system for visitors (so infrequent users) or regular commuters who use Auckland’s public transport system but here is an idea I like to pitch:
Ben’s Proposals for Zone Based Fares
Four Zones (I will draw a map later) with the Central Post Office (so Britomart Transport Centre) as the central focus point in which the zones are calculated:
- City Zone (Orakei, Newmarket and Grafton Trains Stations, plus the city side of the Harbour Bridge and Ponsonby Road form that boundary)
- Inner Zone (Basically marked by the traditional Otahuhu and New Lynn fare boundaries, and Smales Farm on the North Shore)
- Outer Zone (Manurewa to the south, Westgate and Swanson to the West and Albany to the north)
- Regional Zone (all areas beyond the outer zone)
These zones are like a target with a cross in the middle extending through the zones. From the very south to the very north of the zoned areas would mean travelling through eight zones one way. Four zones to get half way the journey and another four zones as you move through the centre to the other end of the city.
The fares for moving within or between the four zones (single trip – cash fare one way – flat fee regardless or adult or child)
- Within a single Zone: $2
- Between two Zones: $3
- Between three Zones:$5
- Between four Zones: $7
- Five or more Zones: four zone fare plus the price of the “extra zones” travelled to the daily fare cap of $15 (so travelling six zones would equal $7 + $3 = $10 one way)
I also propose a maximum fare cap of $15 per day for all travel on the integrated public transport system. However you would still be able to by a full day pass for unlimited travel on all modes across all zones from 9am Weekdays and all day weekends and public holidays for a discounted cap price of $13 if you know you are going to be travelling around all day.
The trusty Family Pass should also be made available at the same time as a full day pass for the flat fee of $25. Super Gold holders ride free per usual at their dedicated times.
Okay so we have the zones set (map coming later in an update) and the fares organised for cash-single trips (no using an AT-HOP card), the day and family passes, Super Gold Holders and the maximum fare cap for any one day’s travel.
Now to using an AT-HOP card in place of cash.
Those who would use an AT-HOP card would be our current more frequent travellers who use the exiting ten-trip passes (being phased out) or monthly passes. Using an AT-HOP card should mean you get a discount when paying your fare compared to feeding money down a ticket machine or to the ticket office. Thus I propose the AT-HOP cards have a flat 20% discount regardless of child, adult or tertiary student on the cash fare otherwise charged for your journey. As for Monthly passes there would be four sets of “monthlies” available with prices reflecting discounts accordingly. The same conditions on your 31 days of use from the first day “used” with the existing monthly paper monthlies will transfer over to the AT-HOP Card loaded with Monthly profiles.
The Four Monthly Passes and fares (child in brackets)
- 1-Z – For travelling within one zone: $60 ($50)
- 2-Z – For travelling between two zones: $90 ($75)
- 3-Z – For travelling between three zones: $ $150 ($110)
- A-Z – Ultimate pass – travelling between four or more zones: $210 ($150)
The discount rate for adults with Monthly Passes is at minimum 25% compared to single-cash fare with child passes higher (there are no Tertiary discounts).
As for bikes – free travel but as per usual to on-board staff discretion depending on train loadings.
I still have a lot of work to do on these but it is a start and would be a good time to get the initial dialogue going to refine this idea ready for a submission to Auckland Transport in due time.
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