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

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!

Petition hosted by our friends at ActionStation

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 for the government to fund free fares for public transport, starting with low-income groups and under-25s.

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


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. Free fares will help people to switch to public transport, which produces far less emissions per kilometre than private cars. As the Government shapes its Emissions Reduction Plan they need bold ideas. 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 and tertiary students find that a regular $3 bus ticket is out of reach – and that’s at the very time that we need to promote connection to combat loneliness and poor mental health.

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 normalise public transport habits in the next generation, and that will serve us all well.

Our communities need free fares

We all miss out when the cost of fares prevents people traveling. 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.

Petition hosted by our friends at ActionStation

How else can you help?

Join the Collective

Join as an organisation or public figure to show your support for our ask. You can join right now using our Google Form:

Or email freefaresnz@gmail.com for more info.

Join the team

Join the campaign organising team to get the word out and campaign for change. Email us to find out how:

Or email freefaresnz@gmail.com

Submit directly

Make you own personal submission to share your views and amplify our call for Free Fares today:

Links to Ministry of Environment website

Read our final submission (PDF, 6mb)

Collective members and supporter:


Birthright NZ logo
Catholic Social Services logo
Christchurch City Mission logo
New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services logo
Free Store Wellington
Lyall Bay Community Church logo
MAWSA logo
NZUSA logo
Pablos Art Studios logo
Poverty Action Waikato logo
Parents for Climate Action
Presbyterian Support NZ logo
PSA logo
Sustain South Brighton logo
True Colours Children's Health Trust logo
Two Todman Brooklyn logo
United Community Action Network logo
Vic Labour logo
VUWSA logo
Wellington City Mission logo

Council members and supporters: