A few weeks ago the Auckland Transport board adopted an updated version of the Regional Public Transport Plan following consultation on a few areas. One of those areas AT’s Integrated Fares Policy or Simplified Fares as AT call them and which I looked at in more detail here. Core to the Simplified Fares are a move to a zone based system where you pay for how many zones you pass through not how many services you use.

RPTP Integrated Fares Zones Map

The consultation also gave some indicative prices and future products that we can expect and many cases (not all) the changes will actually work out cheaper for people.

Simplifed Fares Prices

In addition they will move to a single monthly pass at $200-$210 which is a bit of a disappointment for me personally seeing as for me that would see my travel costs increase (my Zone AB monthly pass is currently $190). Lastly AT have suggested that after rolling out integrated fares they’re also going be looking at replacing daily and month passes with daily and weekly fare caps for HOP uses so they become something that just happen automatically rather than something you have to plan in advance for.

I wanted to look at how do AT’s proposed zones and prices compare to some of the cities we frequently compare ourselves against.

Sydney

Sydney has easily the most confusing fare systems of the cities I’ve looked at, a great example of what not to do. Fares are effectively banded in to stages based on the distance you travel and confusingly vary depending on mode you use – although this is likely made worse by being poorly laid out. Below is the standard adult price (in Australian dollars) if using the Opal Smartcard. Cash prices are higher.

Trains – trains also have an off peak fare discount of 30% with peak defined as trips starting between 7am-9am and 4pm-6:30pm.

  • 0-10km – $3.38 (NZ $3.70)
  • 10-20km – $4.20 (NZ $4.60)
  • 20-35km – $4.82 (NZ $5.30)
  • 35-65km – $6.46 (NZ $7.10)
  • Over 65km – $8.30 (NZ $9.10)

Buses and light rail – there are no off peak fares.

  • 0-3km – $2.10 (NZ $2.30)
  • 3-8km – $3.50 (NZ $3.9)
  • Over 8km (buses only) – $4.50 (NZ $5.00)

Ferry – there are no off peak fares.

  • 0-9km – $5.74 (NZ $6.30)
  • Over 9km – $7.18 (NZ $7.90)

There are no pass options in Sydney but they do have a weekly cap of $60. However many people don’t even need to pay that. Another feature of the fare system is what they call the Weekly Travel Reward where get unlimited travel after taking 8 trips in a week. There is no limit on how long those trips have to be so I understand it’s not uncommon to see long distance commuters taking short trips in the middle of the day to get their trip numbers up. It is explained below.

Melbourne

Melbourne uses a zone based system having two zones within the metropolitan area although in reality the system is more of a hybrid between a zone and flat fare system. The inner zone extends roughly 10-15km from the city centre and applies to both trains and trams. Most tram stops are within zone 1 although a few sit outside it. In addition to this trams within the central city are free. The train map is below.

Melbourne Train Zones

As metioned Melbourne has a bit of a hybrid system. Trips to the central city are actually just a single flat fare as the Zone 1+2 pass is priced the same as a Zone 1 pass. The difference is that travel only within Zone 2 is at a cheaper rate. I understand this wasn’t always the case but was effectively an election bribe to keep the far flung suburbs happy.

Melbourne Zone fares

In addition to these fares there are daily caps on weekends and public holidays. Weekly passes are available for the price of 10 trips and if you want a longer pass you can purchase passes from 28 to 365 days for discounted rates. That makes an annual pass just over $1,500 (~NZ$1,650)

Melbourne Zone fares pass

Brisbane

Brisbane – or more accurately South East Queensland – uses a zone based system with zones roughly 5km wide radiating out from the centre of Brisbane, although the exact distance varies.

Brisbane Zone Map

Fares are calculated based on the number of zones you travel though and are charged at the prices below (I’ve only shown the top 10 as that more than covers trips across what would be trips across Auckland). You can see that there are discounts for off peak travel. This is defined as being from 8.30am to 3.30pm, after 7pm weekdays until 3am the following day and all day weekends and state-wide Queensland gazetted public holidays.

Brisbane Zone fares

Perth

Perth uses a zone based system with zones 8-10km wide radiating from the city centre. To put things in perspective, in Auckland the Lower North Shore and Isthmus zones reach about 10km out from the city centre while Papakura would be in Zone 3.

Perth Zone Map

The prices for the zones are shown below and there are a few things worth noting.

  • The prices are obviously in Australian dollars and when converted to NZ Dollars the cash price in Perth seems to work out fairly similar to what AT are proposing for the HOP price in Auckland. Users get a discount off the cash price of 15% discount for using their smartcard however it is also possible to get a 25% discount if you have set your card up to automatically top up.
  • If your journey is less than four zones there is a two hour time limit (like Auckland) however if it covers five or more zones you have three hours.
  • A 2 Sections ticket is available and how Perth caters for short trips such as those which just start and end either side of a boundary. It is applied for trips of less than 3.2km and is only available on a single service i.e. no transfers.
  • In addition to the standard fares there are concession fares for various groups and time limits for when the daily and family passes can be purchased. There are no weekly or monthly passes.

Perth Zone Fares

Vancouver

Vancouver is another city which uses zones although unlike Perth they aren’t concentric but tied to local government boundaries. Zone 1 would be similar in size to the City Centre and Isthmus zones.

Vancouver Fare Zones

Vancouver is in the middle of rolling out a smartcard system called Compass Card and it is expected to be completed by November. Current cash fares are shown below and as you can see there is a single adult price and also a concession price.

Vancouver Zone Fares

There are 10 trip tickets which can be bought which offer over a 20% saving on the ticket prices and when the Compass Card rolls out these will be withdrawn and replaced with stored value system with tickets working out as equivalent value – much like AT did with HOP. These prices are shown below.

Vancouver Zone Fares Compass Card

To put things in perspective the compass card cost for each zone in NZ Dollars is roughly $2.50, $3.8 and $5.

As you can see Vancouver also has a price difference for evenings and weekends. They also have monthly passes available for each zone which work out with a break-even of about 40 trips per month. The most expensive monthly pass works out at around NZ$200.

Calgary

Calgary keeps things very simple with flat fare allowing journeys on as many services as needed for up to 90 minutes of travel across the entire system. This means it can be very cheap for those living out on the edges of the city to the disadvantage of those taking just short journeys.

Calgary Fares

An adult cash fare is around NZ$3.80. There are also day and monthly passes available – the latter work out with a break-even of around 31 trips per month.

Calgary Fares - Passes

The inevitable question many will ask is if we’re paying too much in Auckland. That unfortunately is something that is much harder to answer as there are many other factors at play. At a quick glance Auckland’s fares will be cheaper than many of the Australian cities I’ve compared but that isn’t the case for all journeys. We’re generally more expensive than the Canadian cities who also tend to do well in areas such as farebox recovery due to solid good patronage and fairly well designed PT networks – like Auckland is moving to. There also other issues that need to be considered such as the balance between fares and subsidies and the elasticity between fares and patronage – some of which Peter looked at in some recent posts.

From looking at these different systems the things that stand out to me are how important issues such simplicity, fairness and integration of the system is. In this regard I think that both Perth and Vancouver seem to strike a good balance. The exercise has also highlighted some interesting outcomes around pass options. I’ll look to do a more detailed post about those in the future.

Lastly there are many more cities and fare structures that just what I’ve covered here but haven’t in the interest of time and space. If there’s one that you really like or dislike add it to the comments.

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59 comments

  1. Regarding the CityLink fare, is that a plan to apply it to other busses that travel a similar route.

    The other day I went to catch the CityLink from Daldy St to Art Gallery, but missed it by a few seconds because the Fanshawe St lights to so long for a pedestrian to cross. I jumped on the next bus, traveled a similar distance and it cost me $1.20 instead of 50c, 140% more for a similar route.

    1. that’s an interesting point actually – you would think that with integrated fares the City Link would not be price separately? I mean, it would effectively represent a “disintegrated” fare structure by definition!

      1. Maybe we should just have a really small “Inner City” zone, 50c for travel between K Rd, Quay St & Wynyard Quarter – no matter which bus (or train/LRT) you get. This would really encourage people to leave their car out of the CBD.

        1. Another alternative I’ve seen in some places is having a “short trip” fare, valid on any line but only for a short trip on 1 bus (or train). Useful especially in combination with a flat fare system.

          I’d think a special fare on the city link is fine, because those buses have a quite distinctive livery. But then that bus needs to turn up reliably (rather than being stuck on queen street).

          1. I agree with @wsomc. Short distance fare is absolutely necessary. It’s such an encouragement for people to use public transport even for small shopping etc… It might mean a difference of people owning one rather than two cars. Also it resolves SOME (not all) problems with short across-the-zone-boundary trips.

            Get rid of the CityLink disintegrated fare, and apply the short-trip fares to every single possible trip in the city. Keep it simple.

        2. For most people it won’t matter. If you arrive in the CBD by PT then you’re already in the zone so taking another bus within town won’t cost anything extra. It’s only an issue for people that live and travel entirely within the CBD. Maybe fine to expect they pay a regular 1-zone?

  2. This one is a bit left field I know, but it is called Wellington.
    Interestingly it also uses NZD so is quite good for comparisons with Auckland.

    The region is a bit smaller, about a 1/3 the size of Auckland, but then Auckland is about a 1/3 the size or smaller when compared to Sydney and Melbourne so…

    http://www.metlink.org.nz/tickets-and-fares/

    http://www.metlink.org.nz/assets/FareZoneMap/Metlink-fare-boundaries.pdf

    No train smartcard, crazy – 10 trip tickets = Snapper discount. Though can use the Snapper at ticket offices but no discount.
    Snapper bus smartcard 20%+ discount.

    Auckland much better for city centre bus travel.
    Porirua – Wellington, Manukau – Auckland look pretty similar in costs.

    1. I don’t think Wellington is a good comparison for Auckland as it’s 3-4 smaller.

      In contrast Perth is a similar size, while Brisbane/Vancouver are about the scale Auckland will have in 20 years’ time. Sydney/Melbourne are bigger again, but given Auckland’s growth is probably reasonable to keep them in mind too – and they give a larger sample of case studies.

      1. Sydney 4.2m, Melbourne 4m (2012), Auckland 1.4m (2013), Wellington (2013) (500k) including Kapiti and Wairarapa as the Metlink system does.

        Looking at say travel from Porirua / Hutt, Waikanae / Upper Hutt to Wellington is a very good comparison with Auckland and travel from say Henderson and Manukau to Britomart.
        Both now have electrified train networks, use NZ dollars, have the same labour laws and generally speaking funding and so offer good comparisons for fare box recovery etc.

        1. Point stands: wellington is too small to be a good case study for auckland. Observations of distance dont change that. Its also geographically different and has a unqiue urban form. Id suggest wellington is in many respects a pt outlier, with limited relevance to auckland.

        2. Hahahaha, ok i’ll bite my tongue and bow to the mighty Auckland!

          Sure, yeah go look overseas at different systems with different inputs and different currencies etc, Wellington PT has absolutely nothing in relation to Auckland. (keeping straight face, just.)

          For context, I use a Metro system daily that integrates Metro, Bus Train AND Bike-share – it has Metro ridership alone of close to 700 Million trips p.a!
          But no doubt Auckland’s anaemic but steadily growing (catching up?) rate would place it closer to this fairly moderate international Metro system than say Wellington, even though both share far more characteristics… I’ll leave it there.

          Surprised Wellingtonians are not contesting your standing point, I think it has fallen over 🙂 but each to there own.
          Go the mighty Auckland PT system!

          1. I love WGTN, but Stu’s point about its very specific urban form is a good one. Sadly AKL has suffered from WGTN shaped thinking, especially by central government agencies, by presenting the Terminus focussed system as the only successful model for PT in NZ. Precisely the wrong pattern for AKL, and problematic for WGTN too, but one that has gained hegemony in the minds of many. Especially those with nice regular and centrally located government jobs and distant suburban dwellings.

            However I agree with you that doesn’t mean any fare systems there can’t be learnt from. Just not that limited terminating commuter model.

          2. Yes the Terminus model is a real problem for Wellington.
            I am optimistic that the CRL and its future success will unlock new thinking in regards to Wellington station.
            Hopefully Wellington will learn from Auckland.

            I’d love to see a combination of tunnel and cut and cover running from Wellington station to Courtney Place with a stop in the Willis Quarter under Boulcott St.
            I think it would be a good stage 1 coupled with BRT to Newtown.

            Visual
            https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zOMls5OLDdgc.k97rf3gd22do&usp=sharing

            If you ran the Taita / Plimmerton ‘Inner / Metro’ routes and Jville line through the extension you could get 12 tph at peak times scaled back to whatever is required outside of that time.

            Waikanae – Upper Hutt – Melling and regional services would still terminate at Wellington station with an ongoing transfer (5-10min)

    2. Wellington also doesn’t have integrated ticketing and fares. It has a misleading and confusing “zone” system which is actually a fare sectional model disguised as a concentric zone model.
      The regional council has waffled on for years about integrated ticketing and fares – since at least the late 1980s – and still hasn’t managed it…

      1. Though a serious daily user / commuter would generally have a monthly pass.
        And that pass can have some bus / train travel integrated into it.

        http://www.metlink.org.nz/tickets-and-fares/how-to-pay-your-fare/monthly-passes/

        Not ideal and proper integration through a smartcard is required but there is a little integration for the high use user.

        Also day passes are fairly well integrated.

        http://www.metlink.org.nz/tickets-and-fares/how-to-pay-your-fare/day-passes/

        1. Living in Sydney, where the system is the same, but the fares aren’t integrated, with daily (spend) and weekly (spend and trip) caps, I don’t need to worry about much apart from keeping the card topped up.

          I much prefer it to Wellington where it is difficult to use my snapper card on the trains, which is frustrating.

        2. Did you guys look at the link? I found this one interesting:

          Combined bus and train tickets

          Metlink Explorer ticket – $21.00

          Unlimited travel for one day after 9.00am on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays on:
          Valley Flyer, Mana Coach Services, Newlands Coach Service, GO Wellington, Airport Flyer, and Tranz Metro (excluding Wairarapa and Capital Connection) services.
          This ticket allows you to take a child (aged 5-15) for free.
          Children aged under 5 travel for free.

          ***Available from bus drivers, train staff and from Tranz Metro ticket offices.***

          That is an extremely flexible ticket by NZ PT standards, adult plus at least one child and look at the availability of locations. If you were on a Wgtn City GO bus or at a major train station with ticket office I’m sure you could buy this with Snapper.

          It seems to me all that is missing is a shorter time frame, maybe a 9am-4pm 7 days a week ticket for say $8.

    3. Winnipeg Canada also offers a 3 day pass starting from 4:30am Fri to Midnight Sun.

      $21 for unlimited rail travel on all metro area rail lines.

      Can be used as a “long weekend” ticket by tourists from out of town to get around the greater metro area by rail, but equally by the local population.
      Smartcard not required (could be a HOP function), ticket can be bought at train ticket offices.

      Auckland could perhaps look at having some kind of 3 day pass like this, especially for Australian weekend tourists etc.

      Note: swap Wellington NZ for Winnipeg Canada and there is such a ticket, but you know it is Wellington and it is such a small network with no relevance to Auckland and its ticketing etc etc…

  3. I think AT are doing the right thing with the zone system as it keeps things nice and simple. I’m not sure why they wont implement capped daily and weekly fares at the same time. And off peak fares too. The less times they change everything the better in my opinion.
    I think capping should only be used to make any trips you take outside the standard return journey to work free. So the daily cap should be 2 x single fare and the weekly 10 x single fare. Capping shouldn’t be used to make PT cheaper at peak times.

    Most of the other systems are way too complex. To me simplicity is one of the biggest factors in the uptake of a public transport system after frequency and speed.

  4. Melbourne gets it right, mostly.

    Their overlap zones are really large, and help facilitate shorter distance travel. Right now we’re looking at a situation where Puhinui to Homai will cost the same as Puhinui to Newmarket. That’s not good for local travel.

    I’m also concerned that revenue maximisation seems to be a ‘legitimate’ goal, while keeping money in users pockets is an illegitimate one. What you call a “bribe” other people might call “making people’s lives easier”. There is obviously a balance, but a large range of things make a system affordable. I’ve lived in Melbourne and caught tram and train services on a large number of lines, and haven’t noticed a drop in quality compared to Brisbane – and an improvement in quality over the Sydney system.

    1. “I’m also concerned that revenue maximisation seems to be a ‘legitimate’ goal, while keeping money in users pockets is an illegitimate one.”

      I wouldn’t see either of these options as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” – more that there are trade-offs between them. If you’ve got a fixed public transport budget, you tend to face some sharp choices between lowering fares and investing in more/better service. (Or, conversely, raised fares enables you to provide more/better service.)

      So it seems like you could equally well state this as “should we give people value by keeping fares low, or by improving services?”

      Of course, it would be good if PT budgets weren’t quite so tightly constrained, but that’s the state of the world at the moment…

    2. I dont know where you get this revenue maximisation notion from? In most pt planning exercises patronage is the goal and revenue is a constraint. They are quite distinct problem structures.

  5. Look at Tokyo if you can get any info. I think there one is based on the number of stations from since majority transport is rail. Maybe harder to compare but its worth looking at what they have

  6. In my layman’s opinion, and based on what you’ve written Matt, it seems like Auckland is striking a reasonable balance with the new fares and zones? Not to say perfect, there’s no such thing as a perfect system, but at least squarely within the range of what would be considered reasonable. Although it seems like New Lynn should be a fare overlap zone, if it’s not already.

    1. Not as far as I know – it’s stored value, like cash but not cash. With cash you could pay for multiple people, but HOP card only 1 person. Make sense? Nope.

      1. Technically you can but the multiple people you tag on pay a cash fare that is charged to the credit on your HOP card, and each additional person is subsequently issued a paper ticket. The Snapper card in Wellington does it better whereby one card can tag multiple people on and each additional person pays the snapper fare without the need to issue extra paper tickets.

  7. The issue for the proposed plan is short distance travel near the border of the zone become very expensive for the distance travelled.

    For example if people in Otahuhu wanted to train to Sylvia park. The cost is $6.6 return for only one station. It is cheaper to drive instead.

    Same if Avondale people wish to commute to New Lynn Mall, the cost is also $6.6 return for a 2km travel

    I would suggest they use both zone and distance(stage) costing, and calculated cost is the lowest of the two.

      1. You are correct special overlap worked in those examples. However the overlap area is very small and not flexible enough to cover other examples.

    1. I think the real problem is not so much with the zone system but more with the price difference between 1 zone and 2 zones. If 1 zone was $2.00 and 2 zone $2.80 it wouldn’t seem so bad. In most other cities where I’ve used PT there hasn’t been such a price difference when adding zones.
      A much better system IMO would be a flat fare (say $2) plus a premium for accessing the city centre during peak (say $2). The city is where most of the expensive congestion occurs, London kind of has this – zone 1 is much more expensive than other zones.

  8. There is nothing to stop them also bringing in a time-based fare for short trips (to resolve some of these crossing over zones/inner city issues). Could make it that any trip less than 10 minutes is just $1. Obviously people would need to keep an eye on the time but if you are just taking a 5 minute trip then you would be comfortably under that even with a bit of traffic. Still keep the link bus as 50c (this is quite clearly a special bus anyway).
    10 minutes is good because it is a nice easy to remember time. Is enough to travel what would take over 30 mins to walk while not impacting on fare recovery for normal distances and $1 is a good price to incentivize people to use the service. Make it $2 for cash and keep the $1 for HOP.

    Daily caps would be great as well, again keep it simple and make it $8 for 1 zone, $10 for 2 zones, $12 for 3 zones, $14 for 4 zones, $16 for 5 zones, $18 all zones.

    Weekly or monthly caps could also work so for weekly it could be $48 for 1 zone, $60 for 2 zones, $72 for 3 zones, $84 for 4 zones, $96 for 5 zones, $108 for all zones (so basically pay for 6 days get 7th free).
    Monthly would need to be calculated I guess (not sure how much discount would be needed there).

    1. You still get the same problem don’t you – 10 minutes costs you $1 but 11 minutes might cost you $3.30.
      If we are going to have daily caps I think they should be much more reasonable – basically all extra travel after your daily (or weekly) commute should be free IMO. Encourage people to use PT for more than just going to work and back.

  9. Thank you Kelvin that is something that was raised at the time of consultation and hasn’t really been addressed.
    Are the computers not able to cope with calculating the distance traveled when doing the charge for trips? That would mean that charges could be distance related. Certainly the only two overlap areas are very small!

    1. Is distance a fair way to charge though? Should 1km that takes a few minutes on an uncongested road cost the same as 1km that takes 1/2 an hour in rush hour? Surely the main cost of PT is the cost of the driver / vehicle (time based), not the cost of the distance travelled. But then if you make it time based, is it fair to charge more for a bus route that doesn’t have a dedicated bus lane than another bus route that does.

  10. An interesting wrinkle in Canada is that monthly passes are tax-deductible, so they end up saving you a fair chunk of money, more than it seems at first glance.

    Vancouver’s off-peak fares are pretty sweet.

    I agree with everyone who says we need bigger overlaps. Melbourne seems to have the right idea there. Disincentivising short trips across boundaries doesn’t seem like it will help with farebox recovery, even if they get a nice big fare from the few who don’t just give up on PT for those trips.

  11. On thing to note about SEQ (Brisbane) fares is that after nine trips, the rest of the week is free (a week being Monday – Sunday). That leads to the situation of many people in the city making one or two one stop trips in the city during the day so that they pay less per week. Have to say that I’m disappointed that the AB monthly fare is going to increase by more than 10% (from $190 to $210) for no apparent reason.

  12. Just back from Melbourne which really does have the simplest fare system. First ride on most of the network is $3.76 with Myki. Any other rides within 2 hours are free. take another ride after two hours and you reach the maximum for day of $7.52. Plus all rides in the new city zone are free on trams. This is where most of the very short trips are made. So my trip from Hawthorn to the airport using two trains and the 901 bus cost $3.76. The distance is equivalent to going from Sunnynook to Auckland Airport.The HOP fare is four times the myki fare for the same distance and number of changes. The new HOP fares will be better for this sort of trip but the zone overlaps are not large enough.

  13. How many zones is for example the lower Noth Shore. The map has many pretty colours but nothing that tells me what it means zone wise. I am going to guess but is it 3 zones?

    1. The whole of the lower North Shore is 1 zone eg Castor Bay to Chatswood or Deconport to Glenfield would be 1 zone. From the Lower North Shore to Queen St would be 2 zones. To Ellerslie would be 3 zones

  14. I have it on good authority, via someone working inside the Sydney system, that those gaming the bonus trips are a tiny number of Opal users and they basically consider it trivial. The advantages of offering this benefit to everyone is worth the small numbers who game it, is their view.

  15. If you really want to make public transport work for everyone you could do like Vienna with an annual pass for about NZ 650. And the result according to Trip Advisor is the best public transport system in Europe.

  16. Just spent a bit of time in Singapore and fares there are based on distance traveled. This seems by far the fairest way to charge, and also seems fairly easy to implement: Each stop has it’s co-ordinates logged, and the system charges you based on the distance between them, meaning you are not charged more if the only way from A to B is along a winding, poorly planned out bus route.

    Too bad we’re already going with an old fashioned system where living close to the edge of a zone means you can be charged as much for traveling 1km as somebody else for traveling ten times as far… Seems a bit wrong, does it not?

    1. I can see two problems with that:

      Transferring between services would cost more than a direct service, given your transfer point is never going to be exactly on a straight line between where you are going. So it would be setting up a system where people are forced to hate transfers because it costs them more for no good reason.

      Secondly, using distance based fares means you pay the same for each trip regardless of the time, the direction or how many other trips you’ve done (yes there are ways around that but its usually by a complex and confusing range of subsidies and discounts and offsets to cover various eventualities). In effect the marginal price to the user is equal to the average (i.e. full) price, so people will tend to avoid making extra trips unless they really have to.

      With the zone system, you get zero transfer penalty and the zones can be set up to make local and crosstown travel intrinsically cheaper. Plus you get the “all you can eat buffet” effect, where once you’ve paid for the first journey in a given area or time the rest are effectively free, so it encourages people to travel by PT more.

      The simple solution to the zone edge problem is to have them overlap more.

      1. The system is implemented without a transfer penalty – this is the obvious solution. You are charged for the distance between where you begin your journey and where you end it, no matter the mode you take. I don’t see how the zone system solves the time-related issue – surely it suffers from the problem in the same way. If you’re traveling slowly through a congested zone, or quickly through an uncongested zone, you would be charged the same. Various overlaps and zones seem to me far more convoluted than just charging someone based on how far they want to go.

        Also, the distance-based system simply works by reducing the price paid per km traveled as the distance traveled increases (it scales), so the incentive to travel further or use more PT is always there. It simply re-sets back to zero after 24 hours. Therefore a return journey is cheaper than two single journeys, if made on the same day.

  17. Have AT clarified whether passing through a zone without tagging on or off (ie New Lynn to Newmarket) is charged as one or two zones? If it’s the latter there are some pretty perverse incentives to those along the Western line with Grafton and Mt Eden being just in the City zone

  18. Seeing as what we’re actually competing with is gasoline I would advocate a similar charging model.
    Somehow people can figure out paying $/litre = km, I’d suggest the same for public transport.
    Pay $/km with a different rate (cheaper) for trains than busses.
    Km being travelled not crow flies as this accounts for time usage as well.
    You load up credit value, when u hop on it tells you his many km you can travel based on your availavle balance and this modes $/km rate.
    I can’t stand zones. At face value they look simple which is their appeal, but actually they have very real distortions and their fixes (more finer grained zones) just untimately end up at a $/km model anyway.

  19. Will we ever be able to tag on at say the local bus in Papakura, transfer to train then travel to Britomart and Tag off the bus in Mt Eden?
    I understood that was what we were aiming for, is it still where we are headed?

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