Reduced fares approved
‘‘Some retailers are 20 to 30 per cent down for this time.’’
Wellington’s regional and city councils have officially rubber stamped a move to reduce bus fares in the lead-up to Christmas, nearly a week after the scheme began.
Greater Wellington Regional Council announced the reduced fares last week on almost all bus routes in and out of the CBD, in a move designed to support affected businesses following the November 14 earthquake.
The regional council also announced free shuttle buses between the Waterloo Transport Interchange and the Lower Hutt CBD, with more than half of Queensgate Mall’s 180 retailers still closed and two-thirds of its 1800 parking spaces inaccessible.
The reduced Wellington fares would apply to all December weekend days before Christmas, with one-zone adult bus fares to cost just $1.
They would not apply to Valley or Airport Flyer buses or the Johnsonville-Porirua line, which did not service the Wellington CBD.
The decision to proceed with the fare subsidy was taken after regional council chairman Chris Laidlaw discussed it with Wellington Mayor Justin Lester and got his support.
The plan was for the councils to halve the final cost, with the city council earmarking $125,000 and the regional council estimating it would spend $95,000.
The Lower Hutt shuttle subsidy was expected to cost the regional council a further $11,000.
Both councils voted unanimously in favour of the scheme.