Like many Regional Councils, Greater Wellington is re-organising its public transport system. Both local Grey Power associations and myself on behalf of the Federation have been actively engaged in the planning process to prevent any repetition of the problems that occurred in Auckland. As a result we were able to obtain assurances of no loss of service for Super Gold Card (SGC) travellers. So when the new timetables for Wellington City were published and we found out that some direct services had been replaced with a need to transfer to second service, and that if the second service departed after 3 pm, SGC holders would be charged full fare for that second part of the trip, we were naturally somewhat annoyed even though only a small number of people would be affected.
I’m happy to report though that both Councillors and Officers were very keen to meet with us to discuss the problem, and to offer a solution. As a result it was agreed that Gold Card customers caught by these changes will be able to continue their off-peak journey for free if they transfer to a second Metlink bus between 3pm and 3.30 pm in Wellington city. To get the free transfer, all that is needed is to show the driver your Gold Card and tell them that you have transferred from a previous off-peak service.
I would like to thank GW for their recognition of Grey Power as a key stakeholder in the planning of transport systems and for their willingness to meet and negotiate outcomes that benefit everyone.
We will use this precedent to continue our campaign for the preservation of Super Gold Card travel in other regions.
These Gold Card transfer provisions only apply to Metlink bus services in Wellington city. They do not apply on Metlink trains or ferries, the 91 Airport Flyer service, or Metlink bus services outside Wellington city as the timetable changes do not impact current conditions for Gold Card holders in these cases.
Pete Matcham, Chair, Local Government, Housing and Transport National Advisory Group, Grey Power Federation
10th July 2018