Metro fares temporarily reduced by 50% from 1 April

Published 21/03/2022

Update – 50% off fares extended until 31 January 2023!

We are delighted to confirm that half-price fares for all of Metro’s bus and ferry services in Greater Christchurch have now come in to effect as of Friday 1 April 2022. Total Mobility services are also included in the discount (see more information on Total Mobility).

This fare reduction follows the Government’s announcement on 14 March that public transport fares across Aotearoa New Zealand would be temporarily reduced for a 3-month period. The temporary fare reduction aims to help ease the financial burden for Kiwis as the cost-of-living increases. This will be welcome news for many.

The following reduced fares will be in effect from 1 April – 30 June:

Fare type  Child Adult
Metrocard Cash Metrocard Cash
Zone 1 $0.75 $1.20 $1.30 $2.10
Zone 2 $1.05 $1.60 $1.90 $2.80
Zone 3 $1.30 $1.80 $2.35 $3.30

The half price discount will also apply to ferry fares. View all of our fare info at https://metro.co.nz/fares

Customers are advised to board services and pay for their journey as they normally would, and they will automatically be charged the new discounted fare.

To make the most of the savings available, we recommend customers pay using a Metrocard. Metrocard fares are significantly cheaper than cash fares, and cards can be purchased online or at over a dozen locations around the city for only $5.

Over the past weeks, the recent Omicron outbreak has begun to have a more significant impact on our network. Our operators are doing their utmost to avoid cancellations where possible. Please see our recent post for more information about potential disruption to trips and timetables due to COVID-19.

Total Mobility

Total Mobility services are also included in the half-price fare discount and will be applied automatically if using a newer Total Mobility card. If you are using an older card, the discount may not work automatically, but will still be applied to your fare by the driver.

All Canterbury Total Mobility cards will work normally from 1 July 2022, so it's not necessary to get a replacement card. However, if you do wish to purchase a new card, this can be done via your Total Mobility agency. For any issues related to fares on your Total Mobility card, please contact your Total Mobility operator directly.

See below for an example how the subsidy works for different types of trips.

  Total trip cost Client cost Subsidy paid by Ecan / Waka Kotahi
Example 1: A trip within the subsidy limit      
Normal Total mobility subsidy – 50% $70 $35 $35
Additional 50% Government subsidy until end of June 2022 $70 $17.50 $52.20
       
Example 2: A longer trip above the subsidy limit      
Normal Total mobility subsidy – 50% $100 $65 $35
Additional 50% Government subsidy until end of June 2022 $100 $47.50 $52.50

Timaru services

For information on discounted fares in Timaru, please see the Timaru Metro website.

FAQs

How are these fare reductions being funded?
As communicated in the Government’s announcement on 14 March, regional transport authorities like Environment Canterbury will be reimbursed by central government to compensate for any loss of fare revenue. For any further information on funding for this initiative, we recommend you contact the Ministry of Transport.

Is this different to the fare reductions proposals you are currently consulting on?
Yes. As timing would have it, we are also consulting on some fare reduction options as part of the Environment Canterbury draft Annual Plan 2022/23. The temporary half-price fare reductions announced by the Government on 14 March are expected to be applied from 1 April to 30 June 2022. Council’s Annual Plan will not come into effect until 1 July 2022.

Are you expecting these fare reductions to increase public transport patronage? How might an increase in customers impact capacity?
Reductions in fares often result in increased usage of public transport, and given the size of the fare change, we would expect to see a positive change in patronage. However, given the challenges that Covid-19 continues to present, we cannot say for certain what level of patronage change might occur. We welcome any initiative that supports increased public transport use and will be monitoring patronage numbers closely to see how they may impact the capacity of trips across each time and day of the week.

How long will they be half price for?
The Government-supported fare reductions are planned to run for 3 months (April to June inclusive). If there are any changes to this period, we will let customers know.

Which services will it apply to?
The half-price discount will be applied to all standard Metro bus and ferry services in the Greater Christchurch area. Total Mobility services are also included in the half-price discount.

Community Vehicle Trusts are separate entities to Metro and set their own fares. These services do not fall under urban public transport and are not included in the discount.

What does this mean for Gold Card holders?
Gold Card holders will receive a half-price discount on peak fares and continue to travel free on all off-peak Metro bus and ferry services.

What time will the reduced fare come into place on 1 April?
The discounted fares will be applied to all fares from when the first Metro services depart on 1 April.

Are the daily and weekly maximum fares also being reduced?
Yes, the 50% discount will also be applied to the daily and weekly maximum fares. From 1 April the following discounted daily maximum fares will apply. From 4 April (the start of the new week) the following discounted weekly maximum fares will apply. 

Fare zone Daily maximum Weekly maximum
Child Adult Child Adult
Zone 1 $1.50 $2.60 $7.50 $13.00
Zone 2 $2.10 $3.80 $10.50 $19.00
Zone 3 $2.60 $4.70 $13.00 $23.50