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Published: 2013-12-03 00:00:00

Hamilton’s bus services are tracking well to achieve 2014 farebox targets so the Waikato Regional Council has backed a price drop for an all day ticket and decided against a fare increase in the New Year.

The annual review of fares for the region’s public transport network was considered by the council in its meeting in Hamilton last Thursday. 

The cost of operating Waikato’s buses is partly covered by fares, with the rest split equally between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and the regional council. 

The NZTA has set farebox recovery targets of 36 per cent by 2014 and 40 per cent by 2017 for the Waikato, with regular fare increases over the past three years helping the regional council to meet the 2014 Government target. 

The council heard that Hamilton’s urban bus network recorded more than 4.6 million passenger trips in 2012/13 and is meeting the farebox recovery targets set by the Government, so a fare adjustment was not required at this time. 

During the meeting, councillors also voted in favour of a staff recommendation to reduce the cost of a City Explorer ticket, when purchased with a BUSIT card, on the Hamilton urban network.

An adult City Explorer fare will drop from $7.35 to $6.30, while a child’s fare will drop from $5.25 to $4.50. 

The price drop will be effective from 1 January 2014, making it cheaper for people to purchase a City Explorer on a BUSIT card if planning to do three or more trips a day. 

The City Explorer is available for adults and children and allows for unlimited bus trips per person within the Hamilton city boundary on the day of issue and up until 3.30 am the following day.