Student bus fare 25% discount trial

At the launch of a discount student bus fare trial at tent city yesterday are (from left)  Otago...
At the launch of a discount student bus fare trial at tent city yesterday are (from left) Otago Regional Council chairman Steven Woodhead, Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith and Otago Polytechnic Students' Association...

Dunedin students are being encouraged to make the most of a 25% bus fare discount or else risk losing the concession.

The trial of the 25% discount for all Dunedin tertiary students, which runs until the end of April, began yesterday.

Representatives of the Otago Regional Council, the Otago Polytechnic and Otago University Students' Associations attended the launch of the trial at tent city yesterday.

Both the OUSA and OPSA were keen to point out the discount would only become permanent if enough students took advantage of it.

OPSA president Rebecca Swindells said it was a case of ''use it or lose it''.

Having the trial was a ''huge deal'' for the students' associations, both having pushed for a student bus fare discount for more than a decade, she said.

''Many students are on tight budgets, parking is expensive and in limited supply, so the more students that use buses the more money is in their pockets, and the less pressure on the campus and the environment.''

It would be particularly good for polytechnic students.

''Our average student age is 28 [and polytechnic students tend] to live a bit further from campus.''

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said having access to discounted bus fares gave students a great chance to see more of the city.

''Students made up a big part of Dunedin's population. I hope as many of them as possible make the most of this extra discount, and ride the bus to their lectures or around the city,'' Mr Woodhead said. As part of the trial, all first-year Dunedin tertiary students, totalling about 6200, were entitled to receive a free Go Card, he said.

OUSA president Ruby Sycamore-Smith said the University Book Shop now offered Go Card facilities, including issuing and topping up cards at both its campus and Great King St outlets.

''We're making things as easy as possible for students to use the buses,'' she said.

If the discount was made a permanent policy, it would make it easier for students to live outside the North Dunedin area, which was something the OUSA was keen to see happen.

The ORC would review the results of the trial to determine if a longer-term student discount would be offered.

To receive the discount students need a Go Card and a valid student ID.

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