The Green Party is fully on board with free bus and train travel for under 12s and half price travel for under 25s - next stop, free travel for all under 18s, students, and apprentices.
“Free bus and train travel for under 12s and half price for Total Mobility Passengers is a perfect example of what we need: action that helps people make ends meet and reduces climate pollution,” Green Party spokesperson for transport Julie Anne Genter says.
“Affordable bus and train travel for young and low income people has been a core campaign priority for the Green Party for over 10 years. We urge the Government to go further and make half price public transport permanent for everyone.
“For too many people, the cost of hopping a bus or train is a real barrier to everyday activities like going to the doctor, taking the kids to school, or visiting friends and family. Over the last five and half years, the Green Party has started to change this. Today’s Budget builds on our successful track record of campaigning for action that gives people more access to reliable, affordable, low-carbon alternatives to cars.
“It also shows that when the Greens get into Government, we make lasting changes happen. Community Connect is part of a work programme I kickstarted as a Minister last term to make it easier for people on the lowest incomes to get around their communities on buses and trains.
“Not only this, but our campaign for more trains in the lower North Island delivered a huge win in this Budget. In no small part due to the pressure put on by the Green Party and hundreds of people, millions of dollars will go towards new trains and the expansion of services. This will help bring the Lower North Island closer together and make it easier for more people to easily connect with work, business, friends, and families.
“But it is impossible to ignore the reality: our bus and train network is buckling under the pressure of decades of chronic underinvestment and the failure of successive governments to plan ahead to meet the demands of our growing towns and cities. As well as making services more affordable, we need to make them more reliable. Today’s funding to support better pay and conditions for bus drivers will help.
“New Zealand was once a country with frequent, affordable bus and train services joined up right across the country - even to very rural areas. We have everything we need to build back a world-leading public transport network - and we can make the super-rich pay for it. The time is now to put more Green MPs into Parliament to make it happen,” says Julie Anne Genter.