Auckland transport cash fares to increase

By Mathew Dearnaley

Casual fares are to rise on Auckland buses and trains by up to 17.6 per cent as the city's public transport agency tries to steer more passengers to its $100 million cashless electronic smart card.

Auckland Transport has this afternoon announced that cash fares will be rounded up in multiples of 50 cents from July 6, meaning increases ranging from 1.9 per cent to 17.6 per cent, depending on distances travelled.

At the same time it will double to 20 per cent the discount offered to passengers loading money on to its Hop cards.

That means fare cuts of between 1 per cent and 9.5 per cent for Hop users.

The council body is promising annual savings of between $171 and $924 for card users, compared with its new cash fares.

It will also remove a contentious 25c top-up fee on Hop cards, and reduce the minimum amount of cash that can be loaded on to them at a time to $5, down from $10 now.

Chief executive David Warburton said new staged fares in multiples of 50c will reduce cash-handling on buses, with the exception of the City Link children's concession, which remain at 30c.

He disclosed that Auckland Transport hoped in future to introduce a no-change policy to encourage passengers to offer their exact cash fares.

And it would also investigate removing cash fares altogether, as had happened in Sydney.

Examples of the cash fare increases are a 10c or 5 per cent rise to $2 for a one-stage ride on buses or trains, and a 17.6 per cent hike to $4 for two-stage travel.

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- NZ Herald

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