Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]
Wellington bus driver Peter Rendall writes on some of the thoughts he put forward in the Capital Plan's' discussion night on public transport.
If you use Wellington's big red buses, you have just experienced another increase in fares. Will it achieve anything?
Our elected representatives certainly don't think so, for along with the announcement that fares were to go up came the statement that even this increase would go no way towards correcting the deficit that Wellington's city transport will run up in the coming year.
Nasty thought.... could this be because fewer people use the buses at the new fares? Perhaps the steadily increasing fares and poorer service could be the reason why the number of passengers carried has dropped over the years.
Between 1962, when 35½ million people used the buses and trams, and 1974, the WCT lost some 11½ million passengers. In 1974 there were less than 24 million trips by bus. Why has the service so decreased in popularity, when the population of the Wellington area has steadily increased?
We can all think of reasons - there are many - but does the Council Transport Committee see any solutions to any of them?
They have suggested that some peak period services be driven by part-time drivers, a suggestion strongly resisted by the present drivers, who see their livelihoods threatened.
The other attempt to balance the books is by cutting services, a move I would suggest is about at futile as continually raising the fares.
The main bright spot on the horizon is the current investigation into differential rating, which means in effect that those organisations and enterprises that are grouped together in the inner city area will contribute somewhat more to the running of the city and its services than they do at present.
In other words, the employers who want their workers to arrive, and the shops who want customers, will help pay for the system that gets them there.