The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 1, 1932)
Cheaper Railway Fares — Policy Successful
Cheaper Railway Fares
In a statement made in Auckland on 25th May, Mr. H. H. Sterling, Chairman of the Government Railways Board, said that the policy of the Board in cheapening fares had been successful.
“The Board has appreciated the fact that to attract business under present conditions, services require to be down to bedrock as regards price,” said Mr. Sterling. On the goods side, the Board found that much had already been done to bring charges to a level that would themselves attract business. On the passenger side, the Board found that the experiment had been tried of increasing railway fares in order to increase the revenue, but it had come to the conclusion that a policy of cheapening fare was worthy of a trial, not only from a competitive point of view, but from the broad national aspect of making the people's service accessible to people of limited income.
“As was announced some time ago, a reduction of fares was decided on,” said Mr. Sterling, “and the experience so far indicates that the Board's action in that connection has been appreciated not only by an accession of passenger business in the face of a severe general depression, but also in an accession of good will, resulting from a general appreciation of the Board's idea of providing transport to suit the pockets of the people.
“As I have already indicated,” continued Mr. Sterling, “the Board in its policy of rigid economy has kept a careful eye on the standard of service. Facilities for rapid transport of goods and parcels are being afforded on every hand. On the passenger side the policy of running excursion trains at bedrock rates has been further developed, while the comfort of passengers has been met by the provision of more up-to-date cars and improvement in the seating of present rolling stock.”
Efficient Service in Flood Time.
The Department maintained its regular bus service between Napier and Hastings during the recent period of flood. The snaps shew (above) a 33-seater bus on the Napier-Hastings road, and (below) a 20-seater bus passing a lorry with a party of footballers on board, the lorry being stranded in the flood waters. A paragraph relating to the maintenance of the above services during the flood period appears on page 17.