INDEPENDENT NEWS

Remember to use free public transport tomorrow

Published: Thu 19 Dec 2019 03:43 PM
19 December 2018
Leave the car at home tomorrow and take advantage of free public transport. Following the success of last year’s Home Free initiative, Auckland Transport is making travel on buses, trains and most ferries free from 4pm on Friday 20 December.
As a Vision Zero region, Auckland Transport wants to make sure everyone gets home safely. According to Police the Friday before Christmas is one of the worst days of the year for drink-driving.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “Christmas is a special time of year and we want to help ensure Aucklanders can have fun and get home safely so they can spend the festive season with their family and friends.
“I’m encouraging all Aucklanders to take a bus or a train to get home instead of driving this Friday. If you’re in any doubt as to whether you can drive - don’t. Use AT Metro services and make sure you get home to your families.”
Tamaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager Inspector Scott Webb says Police deal with an increase in alcohol-related crashes during the festive season.
He says he acknowledges people are heading out to celebrate with friends and will be attending after-work parties, but Police’s priority is ensuring people are safe and get to their destinations safely.
“This isn’t about people choosing to drink, but about people choosing to do so without making appropriate plans to get themselves home safely,” he says.
Inspector Scott Webb says the initiative gives people the opportunity to enjoy an after-work drink and ensure they get home safely, and urges people to take up the opportunity and leave their cars at home.
AT’s Manager of Metro Service Optimisation, Richard Harrison says that AT is expecting a lot of people to embrace Home Free for 2019. “If you don’t normally take public transport or if you’ve never taken public transport in Auckland, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a go.
“There’s never been an excuse for drink-driving, it kills people on our roads. But if we can provide a free, easy public transport journey home, then it means there’s no need to drive at all. You can a have a drink after work, and you don’t even have to think about the car, just get the bus or the train.”
This year will be different to last year, where AT is asking for customers tag on and off at stations and on buses. Richard Harrison says that this will give AT more precise numbers on how many people used transport on the night.
“Our AT HOP team have worked hard to create a zero-fare scheme for the evening, so no one will be charged. If you don’t have an AT HOP card, just see our friendly staff at the stations who will let you through the gates or on the bus.”
If your journey starts before 4pm but finishes after 4pm, this trip will not be free. But all trips starting after 4pm will be free.
Staff, including Transport Officers, will be at key stations around Auckland to make sure everyone stays safe, and get where they need to go.
To plan a public transport journey, use the AT Journey Planner or download the AT Mobile app.
For more information go to: AT.govt.nz/HomeFree
ENDS

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