9 Jul 2016

Wellington Snapper card area to be extended

9:53 pm on 9 July 2016

Greater Wellington Regional Council wants to create a single ticketing system for Metlink buses in the region.

Currently, around 70 percent of bus trips in Wellington city are paid for using a Snapper card - a plastic card onto which commuters can load money, which gives them cut-price fares.

Snapper card

Snapper cards are currently used for around 70 percent of bus trips in Wellington city. Photo: SUPPLIED / GWRC

And the regional council wants this extended to include greater Wellington by 2018.

Council chair Chris Laidlaw said it was an interim solution, with the long-term goal being an integrated ticket system for all public transport in Wellington, including buses, trains and ferries.

Mr Laidlaw said the council was actively encouraging more people to use public transport.

"You've got to make public transport more attractive, and you've got to make it simple", he said.

"The more people who take public transport, the less pressure there is on arterial roads.

"Wellington is already suffering from congestion. It is building up."

Mr Laidlaw emphasised he wasn't criticising those who elected to drive to work, and noted New Zealand - like many Anglo-Saxon countries - was a private-car-driven nation.

But Mr Laidlaw said there were considerable benefits to using public transport, and making it simple and accessible was key to its popular appeal.

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