Metro fares are to increase by around 10 per cent from August 1, accounting for the increase in GST and the need to recover at least 50 per cent of running costs through the farebox. This follows on from the lead of Wellington.
The 10 per cent increase would result in a cost recovery from fares of 52 per cent.
Interestingly, the last increase in fares, two years ago, did not lead to a reduction in public transport use and that was by a similar margin. While Ecan appear confident that patronage will continue to increase in line with improved services and infrastructure, I still wonder what long-term effects this will have. Even if patronage remains steady, despite fare increases, its possible the new farebox recovery policy could lead to Ecan being slightly less enthusiastic about introducing new services. There is also no guarantee that further increases will not happen in the near future, to keep farebox recovery above that magic 50 oer cent mark.
Here are some examples of the proposed fare increases:
Christchurch city/ zone 1: Adults in Christchurch currently pay $2.80 cash fare within zone 1 (all bus routes within Christchurch city). This would increase to $3.20. The Metrocard cost would go from $2.10 to $2.30. The child’s cash fare for the same zone would increase from $1.40 to $1.60. The Metrocard increase would be $1.05 to $1.15.
The capped cost of the Metrocard on a weekly basis (ie unlimited travel each week within Christchurch city, effectively making weekend trips free to daily commuters) would increase from $21 to $23 for adults and $10.50 to $11.50 for children.
Zone 2 (Kaiapoi and Lincoln) proposed increases: From $4 cash fare for an adult to $4.40; $2 to $2.20 for a child. Metrocard $3 to $3.30 for an adult, $1.50 to $1.65 for a child.
Zone 3 (Diamond Harbour ferry, Rangiora, Woodend and Waikuku, Rolleston and Burnham) proposed increases: Adult cash fares would go from $5 to $5.60, child fares from $2.50 to $2.80. Metrocard $3.75 to $4.20 adult, $1.90 to $2.10 for a child.