Auckland Transport is discounting fares on buses and trains to encourage more people to travel during the day and at night.
Throughout June, there will be a 30 per cent discount on AT HOP rates for adults who travel on weekdays after 9am and before 3pm. The discount also applies after 6.30pm, until the end of service, Monday to Friday only.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford says this is exactly the sort of initiative we need more of to help keep congestion at bay.
“I’d encourage other councils to implement measures like this one to help encourage off peak travel while public transport capacity is reduced.
“Our Government is also supporting councils and commuters to make sensible changes to help with physical distancing, like widening footpaths.”
Mayor Phil Goff says the discounted fares aim to encourage more people to use buses and trains at off-peak times when there are fewer passengers on board.
“During COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Auckland Transport’s buses and trains can carry only around 43 per cent of their usual passengers, to ensure that safe physical distancing can be maintained,” he says.
“We want to encourage more people to travel outside the busiest peak periods, so we are discounting fares as an incentive to those who may be able to change their schedules, for example by starting and finishing work later in the day.
“Tertiary students will also get a 30 per cent discount on adult HOP fares if they travel in the daytime or evening off-peak period.”
AT chief executive Shane Ellison says this is a great opportunity to continue to unite against Covid-19 and try to move demand away from the busy periods.
“In level 2 our passengers have to be one metre apart and as more people return to work and study that’s starting to put pressure on some bus and train services.
“We want people to feel safe using public transport and we must make sure there are no issues with physical distancing.
“This is an opportunity for Aucklanders who are able to work more flexibly, to trial it for the month. It does have a real impact on our public transport and road network and we are looking forward to seeing how Aucklanders’ travel choices might change with this discount.”
Mr Ellison says a study done in Melbourne, before the pandemic, shows that between four and seven per cent of customers there would shift from peak to off-peak if they were offered a 30 per cent discount.
More people travelling after 9am could in the longer term reduce the need to add more buses to the peak. Under pre-COVID-19 conditions, a 5 per cent peak shift would offset the need to add around 25 to 50 buses to the fleet of 1300.
Remember we’re not accepting cash under Alert Level 2 and you get on and off the bus through the back doors. We’d recommend you register your AT HOP card to help with contact tracing if it’s needed. This will also means we can monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required.
For more on Alert Level 2 at.govt.nz/about-us/news-events/public-transport-information