Newshub-Reid Research poll: Permanently halving public transport fares backed by Kiwis

A major part of reducing our emissions is cutting those from transport.

Last month, the Government slashed public transport fares in half for three months to combat soaring petrol prices, sparking a surge in use across the country.

It's been a big hit. One month in, Wellington's seen a third more people using public transport, while in Auckland, there's been a 50 percent increase.

Now most New Zealanders want half-price fares to stay.

In our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, we asked: Do you support permanently halving the cost of public transport? The results show 66.9 percent said yes, 24 percent said no, and the rest weren't sure. 

So, with two-thirds of Kiwis keen, will the Government let us keep our cheaper tickets?

"I'm not going to announce the Budget today," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Monday.

"That decision was one that was taken on a temporary basis. We said we'd look at the ongoing global situation and we do continue to review it."

But the Climate Change Minister gave a much stronger hint they'll feature in his Emissions Reduction Plan.

"If you look at the evidence, it's clear those half-price fares have led to a massive increase in the number of people who are taking various forms of public transport," James Shaw said. 

"I think what you'll see in the plan is we're going to work with the evidence that's been provided to us."

This isn't just about our back pockets. More people on public transport means fewer cars on our roads, and with transport making up 21 percent of our total emissions, slashed fares could really make a difference. 

"If the Government's serious about reducing emissions, we need to do everything that we can to reduce car travel, and that means making public transport the most attractive option," said Bridget Doran, chair of the Engineering NZ Transportation Group.

National wants to take a closer look at the numbers before committing to any subsidies. Deputy leader Nicola Willis said the party will be questioning whether "this the best way to achieve emission reduction and relief in terms of the cost of living".

It's certainly not a bad option, keeping Kiwi wallets - and the planet - happy.