Students disappointed with council’s inaction to add cheaper tertiary transport fares to annual plan

Yesterday, Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President, Jonathan Gee, and Welfare Vice President, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, gave an oral submission, supporting an earlier written submission, to the Greater Wellington Regional Council for a 25% tertiary discount on public transport be added to this year’s annual plan.

Gee and Lenihan-Ikin spoke in favour of introducing a tertiary discount on public transport in this year’s annual plan, supporting the Council’s previous policy of a 25% discount for tertiary students.

After VUWSA’s oral submission, councillors indicated they support a 25% tertiary student discount policy, on the provision that Wellington City Council and other tertiary institutions also contributed financially, which they also voted for in 2014.

Councillor Sue Kedgley proposed this year’s annual plan be amended to include a 25% tertiary public transport discount; and that Wellington City Council contribute $75K and tertiary institutions collectively contribute $75K.

Even though the council support a 25% tertiary student discount, it was voted down.

‘Students need a tertiary discount now. We pay so much to get to class, but as the cost of tertiary education increases, we’re barely able to afford to get to class,’ says Gee.

‘They are well aware of the mounting stress Wellington students experience as a result of increasing CPI and the rising costs of living. The issue of reducing public transport costs for tertiary students has been stalled for several years now.

‘The Regional Council says they want to make Wellington a student-friendly city, but they won’t follow through and make the concessions needed now so this becomes a reality,’ says Lenihna-Ikin.

‘Not including reduced bus fares in the annual plan is a short-sighted approach. Integrating student-friendly policies, such as reduced public transport would position Wellington as a more attractive, destination for students. 

‘As it is Wellington competes against cities such as Auckland, which has a 40% student concession and Palmerston North, which has free fares for students.’

Local body elections are coming up in September. VUWSA will be supporting candidates prioritising a student-friendly Wellington.