Tram Prices Get Real


Auckland’s waterfront trams are getting real about the ticket price.

Despite the popularity of the trams at the weekends so far, complaints are growing about the $10 price for the 1.5km journey, which is easily walkable. No wonder it’s reported that is to be halved.

There was an outcry when the tram fares were first mentioned here and there have been numerous emails complaining since.

People love the nostalgia or novelty of the trams -they were crowded again last weekend as shown below - but they grumble about the price and that you can’t use your HOP card.

The trams were crowded last Sunday

Waterfront Auckland says a new multi ride adult tram ticket will also be available in the next fortnight for the Wynyard Quarter local business community in Wynyard Quarter. The ticket is applicable Monday to Friday, and equates to a $2 fare per ride. Discounted adult tram tickets will also soon be available when customers purchase tickets online.

Incentives on the standard adult tram fare are already featuring on one of the bulk buy websites and are planned for forthcoming issues of the Auckland Council publication Our Auckland. Gold Card holders are already eligible for 50% off the standard adult fare from Monday to Friday on presentation of their card.

Auckland Dockline Tram,the operators, are trying to encourage primary schools to come and ride the trams.

The offer to all 393 primary schools in the wider Auckland region is that teachers, parent helpers and care-givers are free for the school trips with a $5 cost per student which includes the cost of the tram ride, resource material and a guided tour of Wynyard Quarter.

AKT has been strongly supportive of the trams and the Quarter - but not the fares and this is a lesson in pitching prices right in a tough economic retail environment.

One of the most popular attractions at the new Wynyard Quarter seems to be the opening of the Te Wero bridge for boats. If no one has seen such an operation such as at Kopu Bridge, it seems to fascinate.

Crowds watch te Wero bridge opening

At least that attraction is free.




  1. rtc says:

    All those people who bought tickets on grabone for $5 will have realised the ‘special’ isn’t so special afterall.

  2. Stu says:

    The Trams at Motat are considerably cheaper, at only $1 an adult

  3. Carl says:


    so happy this happened to quickly.

  4. Jon Reeves says:

    The fares are the most ridiculous in the world. I cannot believe a private operater could charge $10 per day for this loop.

    AT need to get rid of this operator now before they let rot set in and give New Zealand`s unelected “White Elephant of transport” Steven Joyce the upper hand over trams as an intergrated system of transport.

    I currently live in Basel, Switzerland, where we have over 10 tram lines, plus bus lines, plus Govt support for daily network wide flat fares of about NZ $10 per day. With a monthly rate of about $2 per day.

  5. Mark says:

    Will be interesting to see what happens. These were “un-subsidised” I think - although financial risk still rests with the Waterfront agency. I’m not sure of exact figures but a bus trip used to have around a $7 subsidy, and a ferry trip was the least at around $1.5-2.00. It’s just people are used to the subsidised fairs.
    People do love Trams, and it will be interesting to see if MOTAT loses visitors, ie the kids get to go on these Trams instead..

  6. Kris says:

    There was a segment on TV3′s ‘Campbell Live’ (23 Aug 11) about complaints from riders about the fares and views of construction sites and car parks whilst traveling on the circuit.

    Other the views of car parks and construction sites and fares, the riders like the trams.

  7. penfold says:

    This is a comparable trip system to the Wellington Cable Car. The fares for the cable car ( are $3.50 one way, $2.10 each for a 10 trip ticket and $1.67 for a 30 trip ticket. Tourists are likely to take a maximum of one return ticket ($6) and locals that regularly use it will get multi-ride tickets that are reasonable. I think the proposed fare and the proposed multi-ride fares are about right. Although can you blame them for charging $10 at launch when demand was so high?

  8. Newnewt says:

    Demand was so high at launch because no fares were charged!

    The Campbell Live piece came across as one person whining. The pictures only showed the construction areas and car parks alongside part of the route. The streetscape in Jellicoe and Halsey Streets was carefully ignored.

  9. Alex says:

    The fares were completely reasonable. The tram line is first and foremost a commercial operation, afaik there are no subsidies. If there were subsidies people have the right to complain as much as they like as the operator is then obliged to provide a public service.

    As it’s a private commercial operation, the priority is to create a positive return for the owner. By charging the most when demand is at it’s highest it is achieving this. As demand tails off after opening pricing will reflect this; as we’ve seen.

    If people are unhappy that the priority is not to provide a public amenity, they should be complaining to Auckland Transport rather than the tram company; the organisers rather than the operator.

  10. geoff_184 says:

    @Jon Reeves, it’s funny how you link absolutely everything to SJ. You’ll be lost when he’s eventually replaced :-)

  11. Scott says:

    Grab-one sold 9,256 tickets at $5, I would be worried about dropping the price too soon, you would leave all those people with a sour taste. Plus the ~$45000 and passengers from that deal should keep they busy for a while.

  12. George says:

    Some years ago the business association in a country town hired a double-decker bus to provide rides at Christmas Parade time. Despite my pleas they decided on a $5 fare, and it was a flop, losing a lot of money. I pleaded “make it a Jangler” = a coin. People will much more easily part with a coin than a note, and automatic coin-handling machinery has been available for ages.
    How you decide a fare when there is no history I cannot fathom. The numbers of people accepting this high fare will be known, those who turn away will never be counted! So make it a Jangler, AND accept modern ways of doing things like HOP cards and credit cards, though with security not offered a couple of years ago in our city’s carparks when the details of thousands of cards were scammed! Finally that “Look for Trams” sign is arrogant. Yes English is our official language, but a graphic for visitors should be added too!
    C’mon Auckland get it right PLEASE!

  13. Geoff Houtman says:

    Bravo to the Dockside Trams people for dropping the price to somewhere more sensible!
    Now if we could only get them across Vic park and up College Hill…
    and if only there were a petition we could sign…

  14. Scott says:

    I love trams, But what makes you think that up college hill is the best route for our first tram line?

    Remember trams are really expensive and really high capacity.

    My Preferred tram route would be from the current loop, to Britomart, then up an other wise pedestrianized queen street, eventually traveling along dominion road.

    My second perfected route would be from the current loop and along the waterfront past mission bay.

    The first route has very busy buses so could use the extra capacity of trams, also the route would replace the city link bus, Improve queen street. In addition a dominion road upgrade is already planed.

    The second route would be a tourist magnet.

  15. Bryan says:

    even San Francisco’s Cable cars are cheaper at US$5.oo which is about $6.10 NZ.


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