Bus costs

Auckland City Harbour News - - Letters - DONNA HENDERSON Mt Al­bert

I was very in­ter­ested to read your piece on pub­lic trans­port ver­sus car in the Auck­land City Har­bour News, May 11.

I live in Owairaka Ave, Mt Al­bert, and have re­cently started a job in One­hunga. I more or less have door-to-door buses avail­able to me, so the gree­nie in me thought that it would be sen­si­ble to look at the bus op­tion for get­ting to work.

I was well aware that my jour­ney would take longer both ways, and I was fine with that.

How­ever, when I phoned Maxx to find out the finer de­tails about the jour­ney, I was gob­s­macked at the prices.

A one-way trip would cost me $4.30. I asked about any con­ces­sions, and I could buy a 10-trip con­ces­sion for $38.50. But first I would have to buy a spe­cial card to load my money on to, and that would cost me $10. So $48.50 just to get started on the buses.

I have trav­elled on buses in San Fran­cisco, where you pay $1.50, and for that you get up to 90 min­utes and a free trans­fer. A pass for un­lim­ited travel – on trains and buses – that lasts a week costs $15, less than my to­tal trips over two days would cost here in Auck­land!

In other words, in San Fran­cisco, I could take a trip of the same dis­tance as my com­mute to work for $1.50. Now that is ap­peal­ing. And the peo­ple in San Fran­cisco ob­vi­ously think so too – the buses were packed.

I do think pub­lic trans­port is in­ac­ces­si­ble and in­con­ve­nient for many Auck­lan­ders, but as my ex­am­ple shows, even when it is as con­ve­nient as tak­ing a car, it sim­ply costs too much to be worth­while.

Auck­land needs to take a leaf out of San Fran­cisco’s book and make buses af­ford­able.

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