Auckland to Hike Public Transport Fares 5% and 14% Respectively. Still Equity Issues

Fares go up

No improvements to services

Poor and short distance travellers get whacked


It seems Auckland Transport still has a lot to learn about equity when applying fares across our public transport network.

In news just in Auckland Transport:

Small changes to bus, train and ferry fares

16/01/2017 09:07 a.m.

Bus, train and ferry fares will be changing from 29 January 2017.

Auckland Transport is required to review fares annually to ensure they keep pace with operating costs and a portion of cost recovery from fares.

Colin Homan, Group Manager, AT Development says Auckland Transport has a target to recover 50 percent of the cost of public transport from fares, but this is currently at 46.3 percent.

“Compared to many other cities, Auckland short distance fares are relatively low so we have targeted some small increases for fares for some shorter trips. Fares for longer trips, beyond 4 Zones will not change.  We want to promote reducing congestion by making public transport fares attractive for people making longer journeys.”

Mr Homan says public transport in Auckland still represents very good value for customers.  Auckland Transport has added a number of new services over the past year, such as the introduction of 65 double decker buses, the roll out of a new bus network in South Auckland, the addition of 19 km of bus lanes in the year to June 2017, rail service increases on the Western Line, as well as Simpler Fares (which allows customers to take a bus, train or combo and pay just the one fare for the entire journey).

Mr Homan says that over the past 12 months Auckland Transport has reduced the cost of public transport by on average 7 percent through Simpler Fares and encouraging customers on cash to transition to HOP, which represents at least a 20 percent saving.

He says in the year to the end of December 84.8 million trips were taken on public transport in Auckland, an increase of 4.6 percent since July.

“Even though the average fare increase is 1.7 percent, the average cost of travel for customers remains lower than it was at this time last year.”

Main changes

  • AT HOP bus & train fares for 1 Zone, 2 Zones and 4 Zones increase by 5 cents and 10 cents
  • Cash bus & train fares for 1 Zone and 2 Zones increase by 50 cents
  • AT HOP tertiary student bus and rail fares increase by 4 to 8 cents between 1 Zone and 4 Zones to ensure a consistent discount compared to AT HOP adult fares
  • AT HOP Monthly Bus & Train Pass increases by $10
  • Ferry fares reflect a mix of increases and decreases to continue the alignment by distance travelled in preparation for full ferry fare integration
  • AT HOP adult and child fares are at least 25 percent lower than the equivalent cash fare
  • AT HOP child fares are at least 40 percent lower than adult AT HOP
  • AT HOP tertiary fares are at least 20 percent lower than adult AT HOP

See full details of the changes 





So monthlies are up $10 and a steep rise on cash fares for the infrequent traveller or even tourist.


Auckland Transport state they are trying to reduce congestion through keeping rises on long distance fares low but in doing so short distance fares rise disproportionately causing equity issues especially in South Auckland (where most trips are short to places like Papakura, Manurewa and Manukau City Centre). Effectively short distance travellers are cross subsidising long distance commuters. Also short distance trips is what generates often the most congestion especially localised congestion that will bung the regional network.


If Auckland Transport want to make long distance commuting on transit more attractive than it needs to look at infrastructure and commute times themselves. More bus lanes to make busses more reliable and shortening the Southern Line timetable from 53 minutes to 45 minutes (through better running operations of the trains) is the best way to improve patronage there.

Bad move Auckland Transport!


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