Fares to rise despite better Farebox recovery rates
Word on the street is that Auckland Transport are set to raise Public Transport fares on February 28 by an unspecified amount.
This is after moving the price of the AT-HOP card from $5 to $10 in December last year and requiring Super Gold card holders to have an AT-HOP card with their Super Gold loaded onto it to access the Super Gold concessions (as it will no longer be available by paper ticket from a ticket machine or Ticket Office).
Justification for the rise in fares (some of the most expensive relative other public transport systems in the Western World (and even Japan)) is going to be hard to justify when the Auckland Transport Statement of Intent for Farebox Recovery Target standing at 46-48% has been met to the point of being exceeded as it heads to 50%. Given the expense now gone to run diesels that have all been replaced (except for the Papakura to Pukekohe run) the return on running rail services should be increase. That return would also be increasing if Auckland Transport, the New Zealand Government and the Police were more proactive in dealing with rife fare evasion especially between Middlemore and Papakura as well as Henderson Station. Despite what Auckland Transport keep saying about the percentage of fare evasion if you multiply it by 10x you will be getting closer to the true mark.
The idea is to attract people to public transport especially during the heavy disruptions to be caused by the City Rail Link construction through until around 2023. Driving fares up with no justification (and there is none) while petrol prices are falling is going to do one thing – send people straight back into their cars regardless of the congestion of the motorway network as it is already. And given productivity is already negative in Auckland do we need Auckland Transport giving us an excuse keeping it negative (through people being strung up on their daily commutes)?
We are meant to be ‘The World’s Most Liveable City’ correct? If so then public transport fares should be frozen for three years then reviewed again 2019.
Pull your socks up Auckland Transport!