Council encourages public transport use
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council say encouraging children to catch the bus may help them view public transport favourably.
The Long Term Plan is currently accepting public submissions, and one proposal is to have free bus fares for school students, tertiary students and community card holders.
Public Transport committee chair Councillor Andrew von Dadelszen says encouraging children to catch the bus may help them view public transport favourably and they will continue to use it during their adult life.
“We see value in getting our children to catch a bus, so that this habit becomes engrained.”
He says they are seeing a growth in traffic congestion across the region, but particularly in the Western Bay.
“The value imperative is that getting more students on buses may see less cars on the road during peak traffic times, especially around school drop-off and pick-up times.”
The initial fare-free trial held in Tauranga was put in place to help with traffic congestion in the city.
A statement on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website says there are several reasons which prompted bus fares to be included in the LTP.
“In September 2019, the Public Transport Committee approved the scope for a Regional Fare Review with goals of increasing patronage, reducing CO2 emissions, providing equitable transport, and encouraging mode shift.”
There is already a trial in place with free fares for Tauranga school students, which began in January last year.