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Annual PT Fare Changes for 2016

Auckland Transport are making a few changes to public transport fares on 28 February and some of them are bound to result in howls of outrage. The changes are part of ATs annual fare review and they have said they are being influenced by a couple of key factors:

  • The need to achieve the NZTAs farebox recovery policy of 50% of costs covered by fares by June 2018
  • Changes to operating costs
  • Changes in preparation for ATs Simplified Fares which they say are currently on track to roll out at the end of July

I’ll cover off these aspects before going into the fare changes.

Achieving the Farebox Recovery Policy

As I talked about on Friday, the NZTA require that 50% of all PT costs across NZ are met by the revenue from fares paid by PT users. As Auckland accounts for over 50% of all PT across the country it means the city is critical to the country meeting that target. Of course this doesn’t mean that the target is rational or provides the best economic and social outcome but it currently exists so AT has to work within that. The good news is we’re on the right track. Farebox Recovery has increased to 47.8% from 45.9% the year before.

2015-12 - Farebox Recovery Ratio

Changes to operating costs

The way that contracting currently works for most services is that the operator gets the fare revenue and AT pay the net cost of providing the service. The amount that AT pay is adjusted based on a cost index determined by the NZTA which takes into account changes to aspects such as labour costs, fuel costs, RUC costs etc. There are two indices, one for bus/train and one for Ferries. AT say these are up 0.5 for bus/train and 0.1 for ferry in the September Quarter and the fare changes are to respond to that.

Out of interest the NZTA’s info on the indices say that fuel prices only make up about 15% of the operational costs for buses and just over 30% of the costs for ferries. But those indices also suggest that while prices are up in the September Quarter they are still down on a year on year basis. In other words, as of the September Quarter – which would have been used by AT for their fare review – AT were paying less for services than they were the same time the year before. On a YoY basis they are -0.4% for bus and -3.7% for ferry.

PT Cost Indicies to Sep-15

Changes for ATs Simplified Fares (aka integrated fares)

There are two main and significant changes being made by AT to better align fares in the lead up to AT rolling out Simplified fares at the end of July. They are also the ones that will likely get the most reaction – especially from the media. The changes were suggested as part of the consultation for simplified fares but that won’t make the changes any easier for those affected. Essentially it seems like they’re getting the bad news parts of the Simplified Fares out of the way now so that when they do roll out in July the positive aspects don’t get overshadowed.

The first change is that Orakei Train Station to Britomart will go from 1 stage to 2 stages. The reasons suggested are:

  • As part of Simplified Fares there will be a City Zone which is based on roughly the same area as covered by the current 1 stage fare zone and which is effectively a circle the same distance from the centre of the city. Orakei is an anomaly sitting well outside of that. In addition, buses from Orakei pay a 2 stage fare so there needs to be consistency. Changing the area to 1 stage would be unfair on others who are travelling a similar distance.

Simplifed Fares Isthmus - Mt Eden&Orakei

  • The park & ride is often full as a result of people driving from around the region to pay for the 1 stage fare. They are hoping that changing it to 2 stages eases pressure on the station and that passengers will instead go to closer stations to catch the train.
  • Hobson Bay is a logical boundary for a fare stage/zone boundary.
  • As the station data AT provided suggested, the number of people affected isn’t that high overall. There are ~300,000 trips a year to or from Orakei which is around 2% of all rail patronage across the region.

 

The second change also affects the city zone and will see the removal of the current CBD zone which was a separate price for those catching a bus purely within the CBD (and a little bit around the southern end of Symonds St as shown below with the lighter area. Again it’s so that there will be a single City Zone. Until the Simplified Fares roll out it means trips within the CBD will be a 1 stage fare however importantly this doesn’t affect the CityLink buses which will remain at $0.50 if you use HOP.

CBD Fare Zone

Fare Changes

There is one other aspect is at play in the fare changes, AT say that compared to many other cities our short fares are often a bit cheaper while our longer distance fares are a bit higher. AT have decided to use these fare changes to try and balance that out slightly and so the fare changes are primarily for shorter trips.

Adult fares are below and there are no changes to child, accessible and tertiary fares with the exception of the child monthly train pass (which still uses the old cardboard tickets). As you can see stages 1 to 4 increase by $0.10 if you use HOP while other fares remain unchanged

Adult Fares from 28 Feb 2016

There is a change to the Adult Monthly passes too with the 2-zone monthly pass (the one I use) going from $190 to $200. There are a few changes to child monthly train passes too as well as family passes – on those AT say they are still working out just what the future will be for family passes and hopefully will finalise that soon.

Ferries don’t escape the changes.  They are splitting ferries into three zones which they say simplifies things and allows for better integration with the future integrated fares pricing structure – although they’re not quite ready to say how that integrates the approach they indicated to me sounded pretty reasonable. They’re working to align ferry fares within those zones over time and the new Adult HOP prices for them are below.

  • Inner Harbour (Birkenhead to Devonport) – $4.50 – these prices are now aligned.
  • Mid Harbour (Half Moon Bay, Hobsonville/Beach Haven, West Harbour) – $7.04 – $8
  • Outer Harbour (Gulf Harbour, Pine Harbour, Waiheke etc.) – $11-$11.20

AT want more ferry customers using HOP and as such they’re making some changes including removing some pass options and increasing the price of some too.

Simplified Fares

Lastly as a quick update to Simplified Fares. As mentioned it is due to roll out in July this year and AT say the project remains on track and they are currently testing some of the new functionality. They have confirmed the zones that will exist but are still reviewing four of the zone boundaries based on feedback from the consultation. These are:

  • Upper North Shore/Lower North Shore – There are a few school trips affected by the boundary on the map below.
  • Huapai/Waitakere – how it integrates with the new Westgate/Massey North development
  • Waitakere/Isthmus – again some school trips and short trips are affected but the boundary on the map below.
  • Manukau North/Manukau South – impacts on trips around Manukau

RPTP Integrated Fares Zones Map

So what do you think of the changes and how much will they impact you.

90 comments to Annual PT Fare Changes for 2016

  • George D

    This seems unnecessary at a time when farebox recovery is increasing strongly, integrated fares are imminent, and more importantly consumer fuel prices are dropping.

    Every time ridership goes up in Auckland, AT put prices up to slow its growth. The solution to a cost-neutral transport system is not having high fares, otherwise a $4 stage would be logical. It is instead in growing ridership and collecting other forms of income such as station retail rents. Other cities have worked this out – why can’t Auckland?

    • They dropped prices or held then steady last year and perhaps the year before that

      • George D

        Auckland saw two years of extremely strong growth on all modes during those two years, which followed several sharp increases within the last few years. The large rises early this decade coincided with depressed use of rail, which seemed to help Auckland Transport understand that we can’t have high growth AND high fares.

        I am not saying that price is the only driver of use. But when PT is perceived to be good value, then it is used.

    • Matthew W

      Farebox recovery is a bit of a nonsense though, capital costs matter too.

      • Well all costs matter, but opex eats capex over time. Investing in permanent or long lasting assets is very different from operating costs. And in particular there are capex investments that reduce opex as well as increase value.

  • George D

    AT say that compared to many other cities our short fares are often a bit cheaper

    We can’t have that.

    As for the fare boundaries in integrated ticketing, large overlap zones would be more than sufficient to solve their problem.

    • Well, it does cut both ways doesn’t it? If we are to benchmark against other cities when pointing out our fares are high, we’ll have to accept that argument in reverse too!

      But, fair enough, it would be great to have the world’s cheapest and best PT service, it just seems that each of those two goals are likely to work against each other, at least to some degree. Especially at a time when we are trying to rebuild systems after decades of systemic neglect and under funding.

      These adjustments look quite reasonable, anyway the main event is in July after all. Positioning for that is a good plan.

      • George D

        I’m not arguing for the cheapest, or for free.

        I’m saying that most of Auckland’s fares are much higher than comparable cities around the world, and single-stage fares are one of the areas that they’re not. Though even there the small size of most fare zones means that the discount is small, if it exists.

        It is depressing that as petrol prices decline, AT think that raising fares will not have an impact on their system. They’re doing this rather than reducing them for off-peak, where marginal costs are low and fixed costs are high.

  • Britomart to the very next station is clearly 1 stage or 1 zone. That they propose it be two is just bizzare. But then the very existence of the city zone is bizzare. It’s so small it really acts as nothing more than a CBD tax tacked on to the end of everybody’s journey.

    Scrap the city zone. The isthmus zone should be the last, covering the CBD as well.

    • Nick R

      If you scrapped the city zone then the one zone fare would have to go up to the two zone price, making is $3.10 minimum for any trip. Remember AT have a farebox recovery requirement to meet.

      The “extra” city zone is what allows local one zone trips to be kept low.

      There is nothing bizzare about Orakei being two zones from Britomart, it’s the same distance from downtown as Takapuna or Balmoral, both of those are two zones too.

      • simon

        What is the better way forward? Increasing revenues from existing users (at a time when driving is getting cheaper by the week) or by attracting new revenues +particularly off peak/weekend services. As it stands these increases look to increase farebox recovery by $1.6 mill (very roughly), or the equivalent of increasing off peak patronage by 3.5% of total patronage.

      • Brendan

        If we can’t get rid of the City zone, perhaps we need to make it bigger. After all, school trips to Western Springs College will be affected by the fare boundary – City zone should be expanded to include Western Springs Zone as has been done for other boundaries. (http://www.westernsprings.school.nz/WesternSpringsCollege_EnrolmentZoneMap.html).

        Also, it looks like Auckland Grammer is on one side of the City zone boundary, and most of their students will live on the other side. The City zone should also be expanded to include all of Auckland Grammer zone (https://www.ags.school.nz/enrolment/school-zone-and-map-boundaries/)

      • Chris Randal

        Orakei is 8 minutes from Britomart – the same as Newmarket so it should be treated the same. Having said that, however, it does seem silly that people from (I guess) Meadowbank are driving to Orakei to get a lower price.

        • The zone isn’t based on the distance or time from Britomart, it’s based on the distance from the centre of the CBD which happens to be around the Queen/Wellesley intersection.

        • Dan

          But Britomart to Newmarket takes 8 minutes due to the curvature and grade of the line. In comparison, Britomart to Orakei is basically a straight shot. I don’t think the two destinations can really be compared in terms of travel time.

          Once Parnell opens, that Britomart – Newmarket trip is going to take even longer.

      • Takapuna is two zones because the Harbour Bridge toll was never removed from bus fares.

        It is not reasonable to say Orakei to Britomart should be 2 zones, when Orakei to New Lynn (by bus) will be 1 zone. My choice of the word “bizzare” is very apt! The inequity of the proposed system is extreme.

        • Nick R

          You’re missing the whole point Geoff, it’s intentional. Trips to the city centre get charged a full price, allowing trips around the local area or across town to be cheap. That’s the goal of the design. I wouldn’t call cheap fares for local and suburban trips to be inequitable.
          If you think it would be more equitable to increase the local fare to make trips into town cheaper then fine, but I’m not sure that fits my understanding of the word equitable.

    • Nick

      It may be the “very next station”. but only in one of three directions. Anyway, that in itself is a meaningless factor. It’s distance that’s really important and fair when deciding fares. Orakei commuters are fortunate to be able to have a direct express route into the city without stopping anywhere else, making them more fortunate than those using other Zone 2 stations such as Remuera. So why on earth should they get to pay less?

      • I completely agree that it’s distance that is fair. That’s why the new system, as proposed, is very unfair. As proposed, it frequently charges 2 zones for very short trips, and 1 zone for much longer trips.

        The new fare system should be distance-based, not zonal.

  • It is rather simple as I have put it here: http://voakl.net/2016/02/02/remember-your-at-hop-monthly-will-rise-5-to-200month-from-end-of-february/

    1) NZTA’s supposed index is showing a 0.5% increase
    2) The New Zealand Economy has entered a state of official Deflation
    3) Farebox recovery target has been met and is about to be exceeded

    Conclusion? Fares should be going down not up especially the heavily used A-B Zone monthly

  • simon

    Is there a rational reason why fares are not simply based on distance traveled?

    • JimboJones

      It costs less per kilometre to take someone a long distance than a short distance.
      It costs less per kilometre to take someone via uncongested roads than congested roads.
      Are you suggesting a naked bus trip from Auckland to Wellington should cost about 500 times as much as a 1km trip within Auckland city?

      • simon

        Can you justify your claim re cost if short vs. long distance. In the case of PT the service runs regardless of whether there is no one on board or a few hundred. I don’t understand your claim. Also, this discussion is about PT in Auckland, not trips to Wellington.

        • JimboJones

          There is a distance based cost (e.g. fuel, tyre usage, wear), a time based cost (cost of driver, cost of bus) and a congestion based cost (lets ignore that for now). AT say fuel makes up 15% of the cost, and tyres and wear won’t be much of a factor – so most of the cost is time based, not distance based. Most of the time based cost for a user is when they get on and off (especially if they pay cash) – this cost is incurred regardless of how far you travel.

          • S

            Okay, I was thinking trains (because this is what I use). Trains have fixed stops, and they stop regardless of who gets on/off so the argument for distance based fares for trains stands (I think).

          • Sailor Boy

            But a much stronger argument for uniform fares remains.

            Against distance based fares is also the inherent simplicity of zones. You know exactly how much your trip will cost pretty easily.

          • Stu Donovan

            Jimbo, in a general sense you can still capture fixed costs within a distance based fare system simply by charging a flag-fall, e.g. $1 per boarding plus 0.20 cents per km.

            Or something like that.

    • In terms of zones, what happens if a person travels, West to South on trains, but because of the network/zone structure (i.e. no buses) has to travel through 5 zones, (i.e west, isthmus, city, isthmus, Manukau North). Is that a 5 zone fare, or is it a 2-3 zone fare (as it should be)?

    • The main reason is for simplicity, especially on getting new users to try services or use PT for a trip they don’t regularly make. People like to know how much their trip will cost then in advance

  • Greg N

    Even at $3.10 each way, Orakei still represents a huge daily “parking discount” over the CBD parking – for those few hundred Park N Riders/Hide N Riders that use it daily.

    But that change may encourage some people to drive less than they do now, which is a good thing.

    Given that the Orakei Point Development is now officially dead in the water, the Park and Ride may be the biggest day to day use of that piece of land for the foreseeable future.
    Which is a real waste of resources for that prime real estate.

  • Simon SG

    Hmmm……
    Transportblog has made much about the price of operating the diesel rail fleet to come down once all electrifed…. But what happens to fares?

    I read where Transportblog authors critcised Cr Mike Lee and his queries about the high operating costs compared to Wellington. How about Transportblog demand answers from Auckland Transport?

  • Looking at the map above it’s pretty hard not to agree that Auckland does divide up very elegantly into natural geographic zones out from the centre. There will be some threshold effects, but at first glance this zone set up has the appearance of a workable and natural equity about it. Especially for all those that claim that the City Centre is over rated and unnecessary; it can be argued that this system incentivises avoiding the centre with the City Zone!

  • I’m not as concerned about the rises. As Matt points out, they’re above the rate of cost inflation, but if AT increases the standard price of trips, it’ll have more wriggle room to drop the prices of others – e.g. off-peak travel. I’d be happy with peak fares going up a bit if it enables cheaper weekend and evening fares. Especially when the network is struggling to meet peak demand (although AT need to keep working to make sure they can handle peak demand, and growth in peak demand).

    • Brendan

      Given the peak is achieving much more than 50% farebox recovery, shouldn’t it be the peak trips that are made cheaper? Off-peak and evening trips are the ones that are dragging down the farebox recovery rate. Also, as a society we get the most gain for people switching at peak, even if they drive off peak.

      Now that many people are using HOP, a clever economist should be able to work out a system that automatically refunds back onto HOP for trips that are getting higher than x% farebox recovery. (where x might be 100% or 80%).

      • JimboJones

        Maybe off peak is getting low recovery because it is too expensive compared to driving so it isn’t being used. Maybe a lower off peak fare would see less empty trains and buses and actually a greater fare box recovery.

        • An interesting question is how much is off peak pax affected by the drop in service level? Certainly it would be good to see a price drop to incentivise travel outside of high demand times, but a lift in frequencies could well be more effective. Both would be ideal, but are hard to achieve, especially at once as both cost.

          Turn-up and go frequencies correlate strongly with higher use, but of course increases operating costs. This is a problem with trying to match supply with demand, clearly an important goal, but it can miss the causative relationship between them too.

          • Greg N

            Suggest they slash off peak fares first [by half], but leave services as they are. Not ideal to leave services but you have to start somewhere.

            The demand will ramp up this even without the full New Network/Integrated fares being in place.
            No doubt improving farebox recovery over the farebox revenue lost by the price discount.

            Then use that demand and higher revenue in short order to justify/offset the improved interpeak services. Sparking further revenue uptake, becoming a virtuous circle of improved services and improved farebox recovery, all the while delivering real alternatives to driving.

            And I’m talking about doing all this in a 6 month period, not over 2-3 years.

            Of course, it can’t do much about the buses, as AT doesn’t control those yet.

          • Trundler

            Frequencies on weekends on the trains at least aren’t too bad these days, and I think they are planning to increase them further. The bigger problem is people who normally travel alone to work Mon-Fri are often wanting to travel with their families at the weekend. The cost of 4 people on the train (return) vs driving and parking just doesn’t add up when you also factor in the convenience of driving direct from Point A to Point B on unclogged roads (compared to weekdays).

            When I was a child it was 1 pound at the weekend to go anywhere in South East England at the weekends. This special fare was brought in to encourage families to use the rail network at weekend. It is a loss leader intended to get people to sample the service. We need this too in Auckland, urgently.

          • At the very least Sunday should have the Saturday timetable. But better off peak frequencies and longer span are clearly overdue all round.

            The most successful model, as Jarrett Walker shows, is to have a strong all day frequency with additional peak services, not a good peak frequency with big holes in service the rest of the time. To get people to come to rely on the system it must reliably be available. Otherwise it will remain a marginal player in the city’s networks.

  • Early Commuter

    Can someone clarify
    If I live in New Lynn/Avondale, under the current monthly pass pricing I am a single zone ($140)
    Is that changing to be two zones ($200)?

    • Alex F

      I’m pretty sure those will be the prices from 28 February right up until the switching to zonal fares sometime later this year. So it will remain $140 until then.

      As yet, there is no plans to introduce a monthly ticket except one that covers all zones (not much use for a regular CBD commuter from Avondale)

    • Once integrated fares come in the $140 pass will go – as will the $250 pass leaving just the $200 one. The reason for the $140 one going is that on average is used for 41 trips a month by users. With integrated fares it will be cheaper just to use HOP money

  • Alan J

    I have two transport options, train from Panmure or ferry from HMB. The train option increases by 2.5%, the ferry by just over 5%.

    Inflation is 0.1%, pushing the ferry fares up 50 times the rate of inflation when fuel costs less than zero is a big ask.

    Also what I can’t grasp is the monthly hop charges. $250 for a monthly 3 zone pass. A daily commute costs $8.20. To break even I’d have to use it 31 days a month. Seems pointless.

  • Bruce

    It does seem crazy to be putting up prices when costs have fallen (fuel prices down, electrified trains, wages pretty stagnant, low inflation environment). Fare box recovery has been improving and is on track so at most they should be leaving fares at current levels and in reality they should be reducing some fares. They said short fares are cheaper here but longer distance are more expensive yet they don’t drop the prices for the longer distance fares? – AT logic.
    With PT use growing rapidly buses/trains/ferries should all be relatively full so the amount of subsidy to the operators should in theory be falling meaning more funds available for additional services or to keep the price of fares down to encourage more PT use.

    Side-note first day back of school traffic and it was pretty bad (at least on the North Shore – tail back to Oteha – normally it is between Greville and McClymonts most of the year and we still have University traffic to be added so not a good start!) Need more NEX services to Silverdale. In the mornings there are usually quite long queues at Albany for the bus.

  • JimboJones

    In general AT are on the right track with these changes.
    “AT say that compared to many other cities our short fares are often a bit cheaper while our longer distance fares are a bit higher.” I agree – however it is the 1 stage that seems (comparatively) cheap compared to other cities I’ve been to, the 2 stage and greater are the ones that seem excessive. They should have increased the 1 stage fare only.

  • xX_Ferry_User_69_Xx

    Note: Waiheke not included in the Outer Harbour changes – AT Hop on Fullers service will remain at $18.

    • Hans Versluys

      Yes, I doubt Fullers and Explore will slash their $18 Hop fares to a more reasonable $11. Exempt service status has been hard fought for!

      • David B

        Hans, that status has no bearing on what AT charges Waiheke commuters, and it is only in place because of the longer 10-year payback periods that expensive ferry purchases require.

        What AT charges public transport users and what AT is charged by the operator of the various services are two different things. The difference is the subsidy and of course that’s your rates and taxes. That HOP charge to Waiheke should be about $8, which is what AT charges its rail customers for a trip of the same distance (Manurewa approximately). AT is taking plenty of rates money from Waiheke ratepayers and has no right to pocket the whole lot and then claim to have made fares fairer.

        • AT has no say over what the fares to Waiheke, Devonport or Stanley Bay are as they are run fully commercially by the operators and that is enshrined in law (classed as exempt services). AT aren’t allowed to subsidise services on those routes even if they wanted to. Same thing applies with the new Skybus

          • David B

            I’ll partly agree but there’s nothing in the legislation that precludes an agreement being reached between AT and ferry operators to reduce passenger fares. It is essential that ferry fares are the same as bus/train fares, one reason being to treat ferry users with the basic decency of equitable fares.

            I can’t see any reason why this agreement could not be reached – this is by far the most glaring inequity in our public transport environment and AT’s failure to act with any kind of urgency so far has impacted thousands of commuters dependent on these services.

  • I use the short fares pretty much exclusively and I think this all seems fair and reasonable.
    It amazes me that so many people want to quibble over 10c a ride.

  • The Real Matthew

    Why do we still need a zonal system given we have electronic ticketing?

    Would I be too hard to introduce a more accurate station to station system?

    • Because it’s easier for most people to understand, especially if it’s for a trip they don’t normally make or want to try PT for the first time

      • Stu Donovan

        I don’t think that’s the main reason for zonal fares.

        I think the two main reasons are 1) paper tickets don’t work well in a large distance-based system and 2) zonal fares allow you to charge more for radial journeys than for cross-town journeys.

        In some ways zonal fare structures are a form of congestion charging, which I think is reasonable.

  • I am surprised that AT have not been more ambitious for AT HOP by increasing 1stage and 2 stage Cash prices. Personally I would be comfortable with these being increased to $3.00 and $5.00 respectively. Also very easy for machines and drivers presumably!

    Great to see AT rewarding students with continued ongoing discounts, although shame to see school students not getting a flat fare to try and encourage them out of cars and into PT (and reduce congestion). I did wonder if they will ever go down the successful path that Perth delivered so well i.e. 50 cents for any journey irrespective of distance. This is the future revenue stream, but needs to be offset by some more aggressive cash pricing.

    HOP users WIN, students WIN and cash users are encouraged towards using a card. Singapore shows this can be done for everyone including low decile users.

    • David B

      Totally agree – Perth’s system is based on fairness for all users, and there’s no bias against one mode or the other. I wish AT would go to Perth and take a look at it.

      Perth’s zones are based simply on distance from the central station, meaning it could easily be adopted anywhere (after all a circle is a circle regardless of geography). Not only that, their event travel is available to all public transport users (again with no mode bias) and they can provide family passes.

  • Stranded on the North Shore

    So until the simplified zones are in place, transferring to a different bus within the CBD will now cost extra $1.30 with the “transfer discount”… It used to be $0.10 a year ago, then they changed to the current $0.90… Feels like some of us are being penalised for the inconvenience of willing to transfer buses. City Link bus is too slow and it only serves the Queen St valley realistically. This will all change once the simplified zones are in place, but until then it’s not great news.

    • City bus lanes, especially Queen St are also urgent… coming soon I believe, and decades overdue.

      There is still some time even in the best of all possible worlds before we get LRT zipping up Queen and the pointless driving out of there for good.

      • stranded on the north shore

        Yeah, I’ll put up with it for now just like hibiscus coast punters have to put up with their temporary fare penalising them for transfers and they have no choice… But as for city link, I fail to comprehend why AT are putting so much efforts for the slowest and most unproductive route in the whole city by giving it discounted fares and marketing it as a godsend… What I would like to see is a short distance/time fare that applies for the whole of Auckland for people wanting to pop in to the local shops and not have to pay a whole zone charge for a quick trip. For example that would make Symonds St buses going from britomart to university or K Rd to hospital or Hillcrest to Northcote Shops provide the same service on a whole city scale not just the CBD. Old folks are already doing this except they just flash their super gold card.

        • the City Link is very well used, and the bus lanes on Queen will also serve other route including the Airporter and the Inner Link.

          • Stranded on the North Shore

            Yes, the city link buses are full, but they’re are moving at snail’s pace. I don’t have the actual numbers of how many people they move and yes, bus lanes along queen street could change this – as of today, to get me from Briomart to K Rd, it’s way faster to catch any of the Symonds St buses. All I’m trying to say is that there should be no prioritisation of one route that serves similar catchment at a discounted price. Kind of like the Orakei train vs bus fare argument…

  • The changes per se are minor. However, we could ask why aren’t cash fares increased to encourage the switch to HOP? Most aren’t increased at all, slightly reducing the incentive.

    For me personally, the zones rankle bitterly. I live just outside the city zone, so my miserable 3 stop commute is a 2 zone trip, even though I am travelling a shorter distance than the city zone itself. this doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I would strongly prefer that the city zone was abolished, and we all paid the same within the isthmus, whatever that amount was.

  • kelvin

    To be honest, the fare are still high in international standard.

  • Alan J

    Can someone explain why a ride from Panmure on the eastern line is 3 stages and $4.00 but Sylvia Park and Westfield which are further down the line, are Isthmus appear to be 2 stage and therefore cheaper ?

    • That isn’t the case. Panmure, like some other selected boundary stations are actually in two zones, from there to the city [which I presume is what you mean] costs exactly the same as from Sylvia Park or anywhere else in the Isthmus zone, but also Panmure to Manukau North is only one zone, that’s why it’s striped on the map [Onehunga is the same].

      Also the map above is the zone and is not yet in force, it will all be explained mid year [we assume]; zones are not the same as stages.

      • Alan J

        If that was the case wouldn’t it be a 2 stage fare charged at $3 presently instead of a 3 stage fare charged at $4 which is currently is?

        • BBC

          You seem confused about what the map shows, that this is what is proposed, and that it isn’t in effect. You keep referring to stages which are the current system not what Patrick is talking about nor what the image depicts. Check the current stage fare boundaries on AT if you’re unclear why you get charged what you do for a given PT ride.

  • It is disappointing that fares are increasing when fare box recovery is growing so strongly.
    However others make a good point that to have couples and /or families incentivised to travel off peak by instituting reduced fares at these times may go a long way to say unclogging Albany at the weekend.

    • The bus companies are making a killing on the back of low fuel prices, with none of the savings being passed on to PT users. We should be seeing fares going down, not up.

      It hasn’t been publicly stated yet (that I’m aware of), but apparently the electric train running costs are proving to be much higher than anticipated. Maybe that’s where the money is going?

      • Bruce

        I would’ve thought that if their running costs are higher (assuming you are referring to either electricity usage or maintenance) then that should be an issue the manufacturer should compensate for if they are above agreed upon levels.

      • Stu Donovan

        One reason why EMU costs may be higher than anticipated is because they expected to avoid having train managers on every service. Getting rid of the TMs would be a good place to start.

        • Stu Donovan

          And another reason may be because the dwell time cock-up created by reinstating the train managers has added approximately 5-10 minutes to every trip from Papakura/Swanson to the city.

        • Mike

          If there aren’t TMs there has to be some other way of the driver knowing that it’s safe to close the doors. On other systems this is done by having platform-mounted mirrors or CCTV cameras and their screens, or on-train external CCTV. In the absence of platform equipment, have the AMs on-train external CCTV designed for this purpose?

  • Gabe

    For CBD dwellers, then, no more catching the bus up the hill in the rain/heat. If it’s 90c I have no problem with using the bus as an escalator up Bowen Ave/Anzac Ave/Greys Ave while carrying shopping or recovering from a leg injury or it raining heavily or just being lazy, but I no longer want to do that for $1.80. Obviously that’s not a good reason to not do it, but that is how I’ll personally be affected (I’d be fine with someone arguing that it’s a good thing that I’m being affected that way!). The City Link is useless (much slower than walking) unless it’s a really rainy day, so that’s no consolation.

    • stranded on the north shore

      Gabe, I’m so with you on all this. I really think that there should be a “short trip fare” for trips say under 10 minutes anywhere on the network, not just CBD. That would mean I would not have a second car for these quick trips to the shops when other car is being used for work… Also completely agree about the useless city link bus. I wish they would stop putting so much efforts in making it distinct from other services (like special fares). It’s like the whole city revolves around Queen St. Not.

  • Kuraguy

    An increase in the AT HOP monthly pass and I still can’t use it on a ferry.

    Can someone remind why I should stick with PT and not just go back to contributing to peak hour congestion on the Southern Motorway?

  • Nick

    An update on this article regarding the AT HOP monthly pass. They are scrapping the single zone pass altogether and are forcing people to either load their card with money or to upgrade to an “all zone pass” for $200. This is insane! I don’t need an “all zone pass” and I really don’t know if I can afford a $60 increase in monthly transport costs. I have just moved from the City in Howe Street with an almost $100 increase in our weekly rent as well going from a one bus commute to a two or even three bus commute. Combine this with the increase in public transport costs, now I am seriously considering buying a car as it is the cheapest option and the only thing I am going to be able to afford.

    Of course their “reasoning” for this is totally nonsensical and is an argument to keep the single zone pass rather than to scrap it altogether. Why didn’t they just increase the cost of the pass to $150 as they have done for the two zone pass? I am absolutely furious about this and I feel totally helpless as to what to do.

    • Boom.

      Add in the lack of a cheap option for kids, and all of a sudden, for a family, owning and operating an extra car is cheaper than having 4 monthly PT passes.

      • Bigted

        Just get your kids to use the option a big portion of kids use now, get on the train and don’t pay. So they fit in they will need to vandalize the train while they are getting their free ride and carry a weapon to threaten the paying passengers and staff.

  • Larry

    its going to become pretty clear, pretty shortly that the cost of the CRL is going to skyrocket above what the public have been told. It is no coincidence that when we are getting close to finding out what the CRL will actually cost we are getting talk of road pricing and increased PT fares. I think the people in the council and the government know exactly what is going on and are looking to obtain as much additional money from as many places that they possibly can.

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