Students hopping mad over public transport obstacles

April 7, 2017

Students hopping mad over public transport obstacles

Students at the Auckland University of Technology have been avoiding loading a concession due to long waits. Photo: Katie Doyle

Auckland students trying to apply for public transport rate reductions are facing hour-long delays at university customer service desks.

Tertiary students are eligible for a concession they can load onto their Auckland Transport Hop cards, discounting their fare by up to 20 per cent.

The process of applying for a student rate involves obtaining a sticker from Auckland Transport, filling out an online form and then returning to a service desk to apply the concession.

Auckland University of Technology student Tegan Yorwarth returned to the queue four times before successfully receiving her concession.

“The first time I went the line was so long I waited for half an hour before leaving for a class,” said Miss Yorwarth.

“The next time I went back I waited for 20 minutes before the whole system shut down.”

On her third attempt, Miss Yorwarth was told she had not correctly registered online, a step she said was confusing for many of her peers.

After another half hour-wait, her concession was finally loaded.

Miss Yorwarth said the process should be streamlined to cut down on wait times.

In March, more than 37,000 concessions were processed, according to Auckland Transport.

Auckland University student Johaina Jaffer described the process as fragmented and time-consuming.

“I’m currently at the University of Auckland Grafton campus and I have to travel down to the city campus to get my sticker, but then I have to travel to AUT or some other service centre to get it loaded,” said Miss Jaffer.

Auckland Transport spokesperson James Ireland said it was important for students to understand the council-controlled organisation’s funding model.

“This is a concession for students that is provided by the ratepayers of Auckland,” said Mr Ireland.

“Auckland Transport must weigh up providing the best service possible for students but we also need to look at providing the best value for ratepayers.”

Mr Ireland said extra staff members were added to cope with the concession seasons, but this came with limitations.

“Around the time that uni starts, we put extra staff on board to be able to process the concessions, but that is on top of what our budget is set for,” said Mr Ireland.

Auckland Transport is currently investigating ways to streamline the concession process.

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