Auckland Transport (AT) has announced some new public transport fares, which include a $10 hike on the monthly North Shore ferry HOP price, after completing its annual review.

The monthly AT HOP fare for Devonport, Bayswater, Birkenhead, Northcote Point and Stanley Bay ferry services will increase from $150 to $160.

The AT HOP ferry outer monthly pass for the Gulf Harbour will also increase $10, changing from $330 to $340.

Similarly, the AT HOP ferry mid monthly pass for Half Moon Bay, West Harbour, Hobsonville, Beach Haven services will increase from $255 to $260.

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The changes come into effect on February 9.

There are also small increases to other fares to take account of operating-cost increases, including inflation and the cost of diesel.

Auckland Transport's executive general manager integrated networks, Mark Lambert, said more than half of all fares have been kept at current levels, with others increasing by between three and 10 cents per passenger trip, to continue to support the exceptional growth in use of public transport in Auckland.

"Operating costs increasing through inflationary pressures on, for example, diesel, and the introduction of many new bus services, unfortunately can't be completely absorbed, so we have had to introduce some slight fare increases," Lambert said.

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"The fare changes do not cover the full cost of inflation, with the balance covered by service efficiencies and AT's own cost reductions, and funding increases from Auckland Council and the NZ Transport Agency."

Lambert said the changes have been kept at the lowest possible level so that public transport continues to remain a cheap and accessible option for Aucklanders.

"The cost of short trips on buses and trains in Auckland is still much cheaper than a number of Australian cities."

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Lambert said that recent customer satisfaction surveys indicate that 81 per cent of their customers believe their trip provides value for money, with overall satisfaction with public transport at 91 per cent continuously for the past 24 months.

Illustration / Rod Emmerson
Illustration / Rod Emmerson

People travelling on the AT HOP card, particularly children, secondary students (40 per cent discount) and tertiary students (20 per cent discount), receive the largest subsidies.

Lambert said that relatively low-cost and frequent public transport services have seen record numbers of people using buses, trains and ferries in the past 12 months.

"It is a priority for AT to continue the phenomenal growth and patronage that we have been achieving, as this is one of the key levers to reducing congestion. Over the last 12 months, use of Auckland's public transport has increased by 7.9 per cent, with 103 million boardings."

Also as a result of the latest review, free public transport for 5 to 15-year-olds over weekends will continue.

A Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) spokesperson said they were disappointed Auckland Transport was raising fares from February and is calling on the Government for action.

The association said both the Labour and Green parties, as well as Auckland mayor Phil Goff, actively campaigned on being pro-public transport.

"Well, now is the time to put up and deliver lower fares for bus, train and ferry users," National Co-ordinator of the PTUA Jon Reeves said.

PTUA wants the Government to urgently provide Auckland Transport with an additional $3.5million to stop fare increase, or better still provide fare reductions for all public transport users.

"Auckland has some of the highest fares in the world," Reeves said.

"If the Government took climate change, the environment and congestion seriously they would have increased funding.

"The Government allowed Auckland Council to quickly increase local petrol taxes, but how about something for public transport users?"

In the past year, AT has introduced additional services in a number of areas:

• More peak bus services for west Auckland, heading into the city centre via the motorway.

• More buses servicing central Auckland (Herne Bay, Richmond Rd, Ponsonby, Remuera and Newmarket).

• On the North Shore there are more services from Hillcrest, Beach Haven and Long Bay.

• On Waiheke Island five new routes have been introduced (increasing services by 120 per cent).

• Train services further extended into the late evening.

• The coming year will see increased peak-time services and expansion into new growth areas.