Auckland’s high public transport fares have been highlighted again with the Herald reporting:
Auckland has the third most expensive public transport in the world, according to a report by Deutsche Bank.
In Auckland you will need to shell out US$122.90, or NZ$174.74 for a monthly ticket to get around the city by bus, train and ferry, says the 2017 report.
Only London at NZ$247 to travel on the tube for a month and Dublin at $187.11 are more expensive than Auckland in the study of nearly 50 cities.
Wellington is the 12th most expensive city at $143.89 for a monthly ticket.
The article is almost a carbon copy of one a year earlier.
The results seem to be based on this site, which crowd sources prices on a variety of items from around the world. That probably helps to explain the weird result as $174 doesn’t match either the price of a monthly pass ($215) or the average price a user would pay if using PT for their daily commute using HOP (e.g. $125 for a 2-zone or $182 for a 3-zone commute). The result for Auckland is now showing at $191 per month which is based on 38 price points while Wellington is at $142 with 10 price points.
While the exact figure might be accurate, the overall trend is. As we’ve discussed before, when looking at some of the more detailed benchmarks, our fares per km are much higher comparator cities and have been for some time.
The graph below shows how the average fares have changed over the last decade. The decrease is caused by the introduction of integrated fares.
The main cause of the problem is ultimately to do with the level of funding provided for PT.
Today, Twyford said the Government had put additional funding into the Budget for public transport and was keen to see what plans AT has to achieve that shift.
“There is a range of things they could do, including providing more frequent services, putting in place more bus priority measures or T3 lanes for example, or reducing public transport fares. I look forward to seeing their plans, backed by evidence, on what will work best,” he said.
The debate between using any extra funding for more services or to reduce fares is always an interesting one, as I talked about less than two months ago. In my view, any extra funding should mainly go towards improving services to make PT more attractive and usable for a wider number of people, however, there should also be some aspects of fares looked at, such as off-peak discounts and concessions to make fares fairer.