Protesters get musical with demands to slash fares

Members of Generation Zero protest outside a joint Otago Southland Regional Land Transport...
Members of Generation Zero protest outside a joint Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Committee meeting in Dunedin yesterday. The protesters were demanding $1 bus fares. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Reducing bus fares is an "easy win" in mitigating climate change, a youth-led climate change organisation says.

Generation Zero reaffirmed its desire for a $1 flat bus fare during a protest at a joint Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Committee meeting yesterday.

The group recently submitted to the Otago Regional Council’s long-term plan 2021-31 saying it wants to see bus fares halved from Dunedin’s current $2 flat fare and even cheaper, or free fares, for students, Supergold card holders and community service card holders.

This time, members decided to get creative and somewhat musical in their request.

About 20 gathered outside the council chambers in Philip Laing House holding a large sign in the shape of an arrow saying "$1 bus fares" and another saying "$2 bus fares".

They asked councillors to choose which direction they wanted to take as they entered the meeting.

While most of the councillors were already in the meeting room, Otago regional councillor Alexa Forbes said she supported $1 fares and passed the corresponding sign as she entered the meeting room.

Only two regional councillors are on the joint committee.

The protesters then entered the meeting, with various instruments in hand, and began chanting a song that asked councillors "which side are you on?" and "does it weigh on you at all?"

Generation Zero’s Adam Currie said one of the easier wins for climate change was getting public transport

"Our regional council is letting us down — we still having car-driven cities, we are not having good active public transport."

A cheaper bus fare would make public transport more accessible and encourage a mode shift, he said.

"It is better for everyone."



A very expensive non-win would be a more accurate way of describing this self-interested initiative.

Not self-interest- global interest.

A bus is not convenient, a trip to town takes about 7mins via a car, 15 mins by bus not including the 5min walk to the bus stop and the 10 min wait for the bus.

Depends where you standing. For me, it's the same time, except with a car, add the time to find a park and the walk to and frow to destination. It's very convenient not paying parking fees. The buses leaving the hub are on time, so no wait. Free Wifi on the bus so time to relax and catch up too.



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