Top price tick­ets?

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

quite rea­son­ably, that coun­cils would fol­low suit, not de­vise their own meth­ods to come to dif­fer­ent fig­ures.

It be­hoves all coun­cils to fol­low the rules.

Com­pound­ing the sit­u­a­tion, the coun­cil had al­ready been col­lect­ing slightly in­flated fares, as pub­lic trans­port ad­vo­cate and coun­cil­lor Paul Bruce pointed out.

The coun­cil has ac­cu­mu­lated a $4 mil­lion fund aimed at soft­en­ing the blow of heavy fuel costs rises an­tic­i­pated in the past cou­ple of years.

In the event, cor­re­spond­ing rises in the New Zealand dol­lar’s ex­change rate shielded com­muters from the soar­ing price of crude oil, and the coun­cil never needed to call on its hedge fund.

As usual Mr Bruce voted against this year’s fare in­creases to Snap­per, multi-trip and long jour­ney fares. So did his fel­low Welling­ton rep­re­sen­ta­tive Daran Pon­ter and Nigel Wil­son, from Kapiti.

As they pointed out, this is not a good time to in­crease fares, par­tic­u­larly for the most reg­u­lar users.

There have been years of dis­rup­tion due to can­celled and un­re­li­able trains, elec­tric­ity net­work and sig­nals.

The time when the net­work up­grade are near­ing com­ple­tion is the time to win back com­muters who have for­sworn un­re­li­able trains for their cars, even if it means for­go­ing some rev­enue to­day for longer term re­turns.

That’s what busi­ness-savvy op­er­a­tor would prob­a­bly do.

Greater Welling­ton’s pub­lic trans­port fare strat­egy is due for re­view this year and it will be an op­por­tu­nity to cast a crit­i­cal eye on how fares have been set in the past.

Jim Chipp Re­gional Re­porter

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