Environment Waikato’s council has today approved bus fare rises for Hamilton.
The rises mean fares will go up between 10 cents and 40 cents from April, or by 8 per cent to 12 per cent.
The rise was signalled in the regional passenger transport plan and EW’s annual plan for 2008-09.
When EW consulted last year on options for expanding bus services, people signalled they wanted the council to go ahead with a reasonably substantial range of improvements which involved a 10 per cent increase in the Hamilton passenger transport rate.
"But not all the increased cost of services can be met by the extra rate, so our rises mean bus users themselves will contribute a greater share through this fare increase. We believe this is a fair and balanced approach," said land transport operations manager Bevan Dale.
If fare increases were not part of the package, then the rate rise would have needed to be 17 per cent, Mr Dale said
Other financial pressures faced by EW include a $50,000 rise in the cost of building a new bus for Hamilton, drivers asking contractors to lift pay and fuel prices rising under a weaker kiwi dollar. "We also need to respond to ongoing New Zealand Transport Agency requirements for fares to meet a greater share of costs," said Mr Dale.
"The fare increases will help ensure we can keep delivering our increasingly popular bus services at a level that the community wants."
Fares for someone using an adult BusIt card will increase 8 per cent (15c) to $1.95, while a child’s BusIt card fare will rise 11 per cent (10c) to $1. Day Saver fares are to rise nine per cent or 40c to $5.
The adult cash fare will rise 12 per cent (30c) to $2.90, while the child cash fare will increase 8 per cent (10c) to $1.30.
The fare for people over 60 will increase by 8 per cent (10c) to $1.40.
For more information on bus services go to www.busit.co.nz(external link) or phone 0800 4BUSLINE.