Today I was excited to be at Auckland Uni campus for our student launch for this election – free off-peak public transport for all tertiary students and apprenticeships.
A Student Green Card will give everyone enrolled to study at a university, wānanga, polytech and PTE’s, as well as apprentices training through the NZ Apprenticeships scheme, free travel during off-peak times, on buses, trains and ferries.
That means that tertiary students and apprentices will be able to travel free between 9am and 3pm, then again after 6:30pm and anytime on weekends and holidays.
Too many students are struggling to make ends meet, and the National Government has done nothing to help. In fact, they’ve made it worse by incrementally chipping away at the tertiary education sector. They’ve reduced access to student allowances, failed to review payments, and frozen thresholds. All while costs are skyrocketing.
The National Government has snapped its wallet shut when it comes to students.
It’s not fair for students and apprentices to be thinking about how to pay for their next meal, power bill or train fare. There will come a point when if it’s too hard, people won’t want to study any more. And then we have a real situation. Because a country like ours needs people learning and training in order to become smarter and more innovative.
Governments should invest in students, not starve them of support.
This is us investing in you, and the future of our country.
It’s also a smart transport spend. For less than the cost of 1km of new motorway, we can provide free off-peak public transport for all tertiary students and apprentices for a year.
This is part of our vision of a modern, world-class public transport system.
By increasing student patronage on our public transport network, we can cost-effectively provide improved services for everyone. As more people take the bus or train throughout the day, we can increase the number of services, which in turn will make public transport a convenient option for even more people.
All as part of making New Zealand better, cleaner and smarter.