The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) greets Auckland Transport’s fare increases taking effect from 9 February with a degree of caution. The CBT understands modest fare increases to meet inflationary pressures are necessary to ensure public transport services remain fiscally viable. However, we are also concerned fare increases in general may act as a disincentive to public transport usage at a time when all levels of government and a wide portion of the populace would like to see public transport usage increase and hope Auckland Transport has taken patronage into account when setting fares for the next year.
The CBT also has concerns around the design of the current fare system which results in short distance trips, such as that of a retail worker travelling from Otara to Sylvia Park (a distance of approximately 7 kilometres) costing more than longer distance trips, such as that of an office worker travelling from New Lynn to Newmarket (a distance of approximately 14 kilometres). The shorter trip will cost $3.55 from February, while the longer trip will only cost $2 from February.
The CBT is also concerned about other comments coming from Auckland Transport. Auckland Transport have noted the fare increase is not intended to cover the increase in costs, with the balance covered by “service efficiencies and cost reductions”. This appears to be opening Auckland to a further round of service cuts. South Auckland have already seen annual service cuts since 2017, while much of Auckland saw service cuts in October 2019, including popular routes such as Dominion Road and the Northern Busway.