Carrying card benefits Auckland users

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 19/06/2014
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FAIRLY FARE: North Shore commuters generally agree the new fares will encourage public transport use. 

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Auckland Transport's push towards cashless commuting has met a generally positive response.

Changes to bus, train and ferry fares announced on June 13 will see HOP card users pay up to 20 per cent less than cash users.

Although most cash fares will be set to pocket-change friendly 50 cent increments, cash fares are generally going up while HOP fares mostly stay the same.

From July 1, a one-stage adult cash bus fare will increase 10 cents to $2, while the equivalent HOP fare will decrease from $1.62 to $1.60.

However, Devonport/Auckland ferry commuters using HOP cards will see a 10 cent increase to $4.20 for a one-way fare while the equivalent cash fare remains at $6.

Commuters the North Shore Times spoke to at a Takapuna bus stop, most of whom use HOP cards, cautiously welcomed the change.

Those using cash slow down bus boarding and encouraging using the faster HOP card system was good they said.

Transport Blog contributor Matt Lowrie, says, "it's a generally very positive move, 50 per cent plus of bus and train users now use HOP cards."

"It's good to see Auckland Transport encouraging HOP card use."

Auckland Transport is also removing the card's 25 cent top-up fee and is reducing the minimum top-up amount on the card from $10 to $5.

Buying a HOP card will be fixed at $5 until at least January, 2015.

Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton, says the annual review accounted for cost increases, revenue and patronage movements.

"By making travel even more attractive on the AT HOP card we are hoping more people will switch to public transport," Warburton says.

Go to at.govt.nz/farechange for a list of fare changes.

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- North Shore Times

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