As part of the 2023 budget, Kiwis under 13 years of age will be able to use public transport for free, while those under 25 will get it for half price.
The discounts will start in July and cost the government $327 million.
Michael Wood, the Transport Minister, said the new policy will help New Zealanders get to where they need to be without having to worry about their wallet.
“Making public transport free for children will make it much easier for kids to get to school and provide relief to household budgets,” he said, as reported by Newshub. “Free fares for under 13s could save $30 per week for the average household of two children."
He also acknowledged that public transport hasn’t exactly been something you can count on as of late and hopes increased wages and more benefits for bus drivers will help solve the problem.
"Budget 2023 continues our work to deliver a thriving public transport network with more services, drivers and passengers. A dependable public transport network relies on a strong workforce to keep the system moving.”
“The Budget enables public transport authorities to raise the base wage rate to $30 per hour for urban bus drivers and $28 for regional bus drivers, introduces split shift allowances of $30 per split shift and introduces penal rates for those working after 9 PM."
“This builds on our work in Budget 2022 which supported the implementation of wage increases to at least $28 an hour in most regions across the motu. This has helped to reduce the bus driver shortage from 860 in December 2022 to 560 now, with hundreds more drivers being recruited and trained.”
He added that he believes this will increase the number of people utilising public transport by 14%.
Hopefully, this will go a long in helping everyone save a little more money, even if it's just a bit!