Auckland Transport floats idea of fare cap for public transport users

  • 29/02/2024

Auckland Transport (AT) is "very interested" in putting a weekly fare cap on public transport, according to the organisations group manager Richard Harrison.

It comes as "March Madness" for commuters is already in full swing, with the last two weeks being the busiest in five years.  

Also, Tuesday was the busiest single day since 2019 with 367,000 boardings - up 10 percent on the busiest day last year.

"This happens every year, it's our busiest time of year on Auckland's roads and public transport," Harrison told AM on Thursday.

"We've all used our leave over Christmas, (Auckland) Anniversary weekend and Waitangi, schools are all back, the tertiary term has started and we're seeing this year a lot of organisations encouraging people back into the office so simply more people travelling for this period."

As AT looks at ways to keep up with surging demand, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown believes residents should pay no more than $50 each week on transport including bus, rail, and inner harbour ferry services.  

Harrison told AM a fare cap is "absolutely" something AT is looking at.  

"We're very interested in that approach. It's something that we've researched before, we need to update that research," he said.

"At the moment, we've actually got a review going on right now of how we might structure our fares in future.

"We normally review our fares every year and then make changes around February, so it'd be appropriate that we work on it through this year, develop a plan and then look to make any changes early next year."

Harrison added AT monitors network issues every day, noting "pinch points" at peak times, but assured users "there are spaces" with over 600,000 seats and 150,000 standing spaces a day.