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Free fares for climate, people and community. Free fares for Tertiary students, Community Services Card holders, Under-25s.

Campaign to Extend Half Price Fares

Sign our new petition to keep half-price fares for everyone, for good.

In April 2022 the government halved fares, and that has helped people use public transport more often, creating habits of using cleaner travel instead of private cars.

But in January 2023, the government will END half-price public transport, returning fares to full price for everyone except people with a Community Services Card. Higher fares will force some people to break public transport habits and return to traveling by private car, causing congestion and harmful carbon emissions. Higher fares will force some people to travel less, and their wellbeing and communities will suffer as a result.

The solution is for the government to keep fares half price, for everyone, for GOOD! Extending half-price fares for everyone will:

  • Reduce emissions by locking in new public transport habits
  • Give more people a chance to switch to affordable public transport
  • Reduce hardship in a time of high living costs
  • Ensure no one misses out because they have not acquired a Community Services Card.

How you can help us get there

Free Fares Campaign

We are the Aotearoa Collective for Public Transport Equity. Join our call for free public transport for Community Service Card holders, tertiary students and under-25s, and Total Mobility Card holders and their support people!

Our campaign Free Fares grew out of the very real struggle we, and our communities are currently facing. With the high cost of public transport, many people can only afford to travel by private car, causing congestion and harmful carbon emissions. Some people don’t travel at all, and their wellbeing and communities suffer as a result. 

The solution is free public transport for the groups most affected by transport poverty.

The case has never been stronger. New Zealand needs to take bold actions to reduce emissions and improve equity; we also need to address rising living costs and pandemic pressures that are pushing people into poverty. Free fares is a solution. Now is the moment!

Read our final submission (PDF, 6mb)

What we want


We are asking for free public transport across all of Aotearoa, at all hours and days, for the following groups:

Tertiary Students

Community Services Card holders

Under-25s

Total Mobility Card holders & their support people

We believe these groups are the right place to start, because they represent a large portion of public transport users who rely on the service the most, but are the most likely not to afford it.

Why we need it


Our climate needs free fares

21% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transport – 70% of these from cars, SUVs, utes, vans and light trucks. Transport is our fastest growing source of carbon emissions, having doubled since 1990. Free fares will help people to switch to public transport, which produces far less emissions per kilometre than private vehicles. Free fares, with urgent and widespread implementation, is one equitable and courageous action on the scale our climate needs.

People need free fares

The high cost of public transport leaves too many of us disconnected from family, friends and activities that bring us joy. With housing costs and other expenses rising, many Community Service Card holders, Total Mobility Card holders, and tertiary students find that regular public transport fares are out of reach. The current 50% public transport discount is not enough to create the equitable public transport system we need for a low-emissions future. 

We know from the SuperGold Card (which provides free off-peak, urban travel for senior citizens) that free travel improves wellbeing. More people need free fares.

Families need free fares

Parents will continue to bundle kids into the car as long as cost barriers to public transport remain. Free fares for under-25s will help remove these cost barriers and normalise public transport habits in the next generation. Young people are motivated to care for the environment, and free public transport gives them a low-emission transport option.

Our communities need free fares

We all miss out when the cost of fares prevents people travelling. Businesses miss out on customers, community groups lose participants and volunteers and tourist spots miss out on visitors. Free fares will allow more people to make these trips, connecting communities so we are all better off.

Now is the moment for free fares

While the government is committing to take action to reduce emissions and improve equity, now is the time to take this step. We cannot wait for an Auckland trial (Community Connect, giving half-price fares for Community Service Card holders) to run for three years then perhaps be extended nationwide, as the government proposes in the Emissions Reduction Plan discussion document. People and the climate need free fares now.

How else can you help?


Follow us on Social Media

Follow us on social media to keep in the loop.

Join the Collective

Join the coalition of 70+ organisations, unions, local councils, and churches which are supporting our campaign.

Join the team

Join the campaign organising team to get the word out and campaign for change.