The Green Party wants to see a three-month trial of “zero-fare Saturday”, as part of a five-point plan to reduce bus fares across the Wellington region.
Greater Wellington Regional Council says the free service would cost $3m a year, which would translate to a rates rise of roughly 3 per cent.
The regional council’s two “green” councillors, Paul Bruce and Sue Kedgley, back the plan, as do city council representatives Iona Pannett, David Lee and Sarah Free.
Bruce said free Saturday buses would boost spending in Wellington’s shops and bars, and give boozy weekend revellers peace of mind. “Zero fares, no parking hassles and greater connectivity throughout the region will encourage people to get out more.”
In other global news, the Black Heart Party regional economic transport development spokesfan Ned Davy has called on Greater Wellington Regional Council to introduce “zero-fare September” flights to London as part of a five point plan to get indigent 50-somethings to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. “To be honest,” said Ned, “my liver’s not really up to a full boozy month in Pomgolia, but if that’s the price of getting a freebie to the party, I’ll take one for the team.”
He also highlighted the importance of reducing naval congestion around the Cape of Good Hope as desperate fans paddle their home-made waka towards Twickenham. “It’s going to be bloody chaos off Cape Town in August, and frankly the only reasonable course of action is to get us away from the whales and into an airplane seat. It doesn’t have to be business class, we’ll settle for premium economy. Or one of those snuggle couches, so long as I don’t have to share with BrotherPhil.”
Mr Davy emphasised the regional economic benefits of the new policy. “The Euro zone region’s having a rough time of it, and we’ve all got to make sacrifices to help those poor English publicans scratch a living. Throw in an Athens stopover, and we promise to put a fair dent in the Greek region as well.”
He mused aloud about the climate change benefits of the policy. “If all four million of us bugger off to Blighty for the full month, New Zealand would reduce it’s annual carbon emissions by 8 percent straight off, right there.”
Mr Davy slammed suggestions that the policy is simply pork barrel politics at its worst. “No pigs were used in testing this policy,” he said. “They were absolutely positively beef sausages.”