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Source: Auckland Council

Following the success of last year’s Home Free initiative, Auckland Transport is making travel on buses, trains and some ferries free from 4pm on Friday 20 December.

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.

For more information and terms and conditions visit the Auckland Transport website.

Plan not to drive

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.

Throughout the year, AT works with Police to reduce drink-driving and one key initiative is to provide free public transport before Christmas so that people across Auckland can have a drink after work.

It’s part of the wider ‘Plan not to drive’ campaign being rolled out across the city this summer.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the initiative is a great way to ensure Aucklanders are able to enjoy the festive period safely.

“We know from Police that the Friday before Christmas is one of the worst days of the year for drink-driving. We’re working with Police to reduce that and one key initiative is to provide free public transport on Friday 20 December so that people all across Auckland can get home safe for Christmas.”

AT’s Group Manager Metro Service Delivery Stacey Van Der Putten says Home Free was so successful last year, it made complete sense to bring it back.

“There’s never been an excuse for drink-driving, people die on our roads but if we can provide a free, easy public transport journey home, there’s no need to drive at all. Being able to plan and not drive, gives people the freedom to have a drink after work.

“But it’s not just for those in the city. We’re encouraging all Aucklanders to use public transport and enjoy the summer evening.”

Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager Inspector Scott Webb says Police deal with an increase in alcohol-related crashes during the festive season.

“If you are in any doubt at all about being safe or legal to drive after drinking – don’t drive. It’s vital you look after your mates. Make sure you have a plan to get home safely.”

This year will be different from last year, where AT is asking for customers tag on and off at stations and on buses. Stacey Van Der Putten 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.”

MIL OSI