The UCSA stand with the Free Fares NZ in expressing our disappointment regarding the Government's decision to end half-price public transport for all New Zealanders.
The half-price fares policy has enabled students and the wider community to shift their transport habits in a manner that is affordable, and equitable. This, combined with the impact on emissions reductions and climate change, makes us question why the Government has moved to end this policy.
Most New Zealanders want to see this policy continued, with multiple polls in the past weeks showing close to 80% support for half-price fares nationally. Students are a group that has been one of the hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis. This move only takes away the minimal transport relief that existed and sends a poor message on what priorities are being emphasised nationally.
We urge the Government to reconsider this decision and use Budget 2023 to send a message that they are passionate about sustained mode shift, and passionate about our duty to reduce emissions. The way to do this is to make public transport fares half-price for good!