New concessions for public transport in Timaru

Published 30/06/2023

Travelling on public transport will become cheaper for many of our customers in Timaru from next month with the introduction of two new concessions.

Half-price fares for Community Services Card holders

From 1 July, Community Services Card holders in Timaru with Metrocards will be eligible for half-price fares on MyWay by Metro, Temuka and school services.

On MyWay and school services, the concession can be accessed by registering a Community Services Card on the Timaru Metro website.

Metrocards are free for anyone with a Community Services Card and can be ordered through the website or picked up at the Timaru Information Centre. For more information or to apply for the concession see the Timaru Community Connect page.

As Metro’s Timaru–Temuka service is cash-only, customers can get half-price single and multi-trip adult fares by showing their Community Services Card to the driver.

Child fares for under 25s

A three-month trial of child fares for under 25s will also begin on MyWay and school services when using a Metrocard. For most customers, this concession will be applied automatically using the date of birth registered to the card.

While this means a MyWay trip will now cost $1.50 for those aged under 25, children are also able to use a Community Services Card concession, if eligible, and travel for $1.25. Fares for children under 5 remain free.

Fares for under 13s remain unchanged

The on-demand nature of the MyWay service means that free fares for under 13s proposed by the government will not be implemented.

"The MyWay service is a consumption-based system which means the number of people using the service affects operations much more than on a fixed-route service which has more overall capacity. This creates some challenges in implementing the government’s proposed concessions for under 13s," said Stewart Gibbon, our General Manager of public transport.

"While we have added more vehicles to cater for a gradual increase in demand since MyWay launched, a significant and unplanned surge in passengers could have a very negative impact on service operations and customer experience. Such an increase would require more drivers and vehicles to maintain the current level of service, and this would require further funding by ratepayers."

He added that he was pleased that Timaru residents would still be able to enjoy the benefits of the two new concessions.

"These new concessions will help make public transport more accessible for Timaru residents, especially at a time when living costs are high," said Gibbon. "I thank our staff for working hard to implement these changes on such short notice, despite the limitations of a legacy ticketing system.

"Council staff will continue to investigate options around concessions to provide the best value for our community," he said.

This press release can also be viewed on the Environment Canterbury website.