11 Dec 2009

Minister welcomes review of free Waiheke trips

6:54 am on 11 December 2009

The Transport Minister says he's uncomfortable with the disproportionate amount of the SuperGold Card budget being spent on trips from Auckland city to Waiheke Island.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is looking at changing the eligibility criteria for the free off-peak Waiheke service, which normally costs $17 one-way, as part of a wider review of the SuperGold Card scheme.

It has just been revealed that the cost of funding free trips to and from Waiheke has ballooned to 11% - or $2 million out of $18 million - of the agency's total national budget for the SuperGold Card scheme.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says that that seems like too much money being spent on just one route, and he welcomes the review.

The agency is now looking at eligibility, the definition of off-peak hours and subsidies to transport operators.