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Research Results

80% support half-price public transport fares

8 Dec 22

80% support half-price public transport fares
Strong support for half price and free public transport fares

80% of New Zealander adults support extending half-priced public transport fares.

And 66% support the government making public transport free for all users, according to the results of a new Horizon Research poll, conducted for Free Fares.

The finding that four in five adults support a permanent extension of half-price public transport for everyone, compares with a recent 1,000- respondent 1News Kantar Public Poll which found 79% support and 14% oppose.

Horizon surveyed 1,621 adults in New Zealand from 16 to 22 November 2022. The survey has a maximum margin of error of ±2.4% overall.

Free Fares spokesperon Kate Day says the Government's move to halve fares is making a difference.

One in three riders in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch used public transport more often in June and July because of the subsidy. As many as 15% of riders opted for public transport instead of private car," she says. 

“People are seeing their families more often, accessing healthcare and education, and enjoying recreation opportunities that used to be out of reach.”

“Free fares could make these benefits even more pronounced. Some New Zealanders - those aged 65+ with Supergold cards - already enjoy free public transport. The government has funded that scheme since 2008 and it has improved wellbeing and reduced trips by private car.

“We are also calling for free public transport for the groups that need it most: under-25s, tertiary students, Community Services Card holders and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people. 

Free Fares says reducing fares is cost-effective. Half-price public transport costs roughly one-tenth of the government’s cut to fuel excise tax and road user charges: $63.1 million for five months of half-price public transport, compared to $589 million for the cut to fuel excise tax and road user charges.

“Frequent and reliable services are also critical, and that needs to happen along with affordable fares. In a climate emergency, we should use every available lever to reduce emissions."