Calls to cheapen public transport as fuel tax kicks in

An anti-poverty group wants the cost of public transport in Auckland to be halved as the regional fuel tax comes into force.
An anti-poverty group wants the cost of public transport in Auckland to be halved as the regional fuel tax comes into force. Photo credit: Google Maps

An anti-poverty group wants the cost of public transport in Auckland to be halved as the regional fuel tax comes into force.

An 11.5c per litre tax (including GST) was added to Auckland petrol pumps on Sunday.

Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Ricardo Menendez says cheaper public transport would encourage people to leave the car at home.

"This is hard to imagine at the moment, seeing as they're unwilling to introduce new taxes or go beyond their spending limit."

But Mr Menendez says as it stands, food and nappies could be the first items that get cut.

"This is what's unfortunate about the fuel tax - it does put some families that lie in public transport-deprived areas with the unfortunate situation of having to cut things they shouldn't."

In the meantime, an app that shows users where the cheapest fuel prices are is gaining momentum as a work-around to the price hike.

Gaspy co-founder Larry Green thinks more people will click the download button this week.

"Things really hit home when you drive into a fuel station and see that the number has jumped significantly and then you start looking for a solution.

"We've had a little bit of a lead-up and warning which is unusual, but I think this week we'll really see a rise in our membership."

Mr Green says the biggest challenge is stopping people from meddling with their system.

"We're very unpopular in the corporate sector."

The revenue raised from the fuel tax will pay for just a fraction of the $28 billion plan to fix the city's transport issues.

Newshub.