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.

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