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Transport zone plan gets public backing

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012

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Just over 700 Aucklanders have had their say on plans to transform our public transport system into zones - in an attempt to make it quicker and more consistently priced - and most have backed it.

Last month Auckland Transport proposed a "frequent service network", using rail and the northern busway, supplemented by ''high-frequency'' bus routes connecting major centres every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm.

This would be complemented by connecting buses every half hour, supported by local, peak-only targeted services catering for specific needs. A zone-based fare system would also be created allowing unlimited travel within a certain area and timeframe across buses and trains.

The idea was slammed by Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford who said the zone system favoured those living on the North Shore over West and South Auckland residents who were more likely to come from low-income families. 

And last week those concerns were echoed by councillors who told an Auckland Council transport comittee the plans needed "further adjustment to the fare boundaries to ensure better outcomes".

Auckland Transport agreed to review the zones. 

Public submissions on the plans closed on Friday and just over 700 submissions were received, from groups and individuals, and most ''back the direction the plan is taking'' an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

Public hearings on the plan will be held early in the New Year. 

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