29/08/2012 12:00:00 a.m.
Rotorua bus fares are increasing on Monday (3 September).
The move follows a decision made by Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Public Transport Subcommittee on 29 June, to help recover some of the costs of running the Bay of Plenty region’s $10 million bus services.
Passenger fares fund 30 percent of the service, with ratepayers and the New Zealand Transport Agency each meeting 35 percent of the costs.
Bus fares in the Bay of Plenty have fallen behind the rate of inflation since 2009, while the Regional Council has continued to make inflation payments to the operators of the services every quarter.
Passengers travelling in Rotorua currently pay $2.30 cash and $1.61 with a Smartride card. Under the new fares they will pay $2.50 cash and $1.75 with a Smartride card.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Public Transport Subcommittee Chairman Doug Owens acknowledged that higher bus fares could be difficult for some passengers but said higher fares were necessary to be able to continue and grow the region’s bus services.
“If we don’t retain a greater proportion of cash through fares we would need to look at the impact on the level of services we are providing,” Cr Owens said.
“This is about putting the service on a better footing so that it’s in a strong position for the future. The days of high subsidies from Central Government have come to an end and we need to find our own way forward. We’re trying to run more services for a record number of passengers, with increasing costs, but with about the same amount of funding.
“Fare increases will also bring Bay of Plenty bus fares into line with comparable services in other regions.”