Moving about the City of Sails is about to get cheaper for young families.

Starting this Saturday, kids in Auckland will be able to hop on public transport for free on weekends and public holidays.

Children aged between 5 to 15 will now get a free pass if they are using a registered AT Hop card on Auckland Transport's bus, train and some ferry services.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said every person on public transport "is one less car creating traffic congestion on our roads" adding to carbon emissions.


"Auckland is already achieving one of the highest rates in the world for the uptake of public transport, with public transport journeys growing at three to four times the rate of population," he said.

"Free public transport for under 16-year-olds on weekends and public holidays will build on this progress by getting more families onto buses and trains and encouraging the next generation of Aucklanders into becoming public transport users."

Goff said he hoped Auckland families would make the most of the free weekend and public holiday fares for under-16s by getting out exploring the region.

North Shore councillors Chris Darby and Richard Hills also welcomed the initiative, saying it would improve public transport accessibility for young people and better utilise existing capacity.

"The cost of public transport is a big barrier to young people and families getting around and connecting," Darby said.

"Fare-free weekends for under 16s connects young Aucklanders to new places and each other and makes their lives more social and exciting.

"Like our seniors are deserving of fare-free travel so too are our children, who can least afford to pay their way."

Hills said it was anther "great step forward" in making public transport more affordable and accessible for families and young people.


"It will encourage more people to explore our city and encourage new users to become long-term public transport users."