Free transport for disabled and older people continues

As part of the national response to COVID-19, the NZ Transport Agency has implemented a fare reduction for Total Mobility customers.

This fare reduction will be in place until 30 June 2020.

Total Mobility (TM) is part of the New Zealand public transport system and is designed to help people who can’t access standard public transport services. It provides door-to-door transport for those with long-term impairments who are unable to use public transport.

The scheme is also for older and disabled persons who are able to use public transport, but where this is not available.

Social distancing rules on public transport designed to keep the public safe have created barriers that may be preventing some older and disabled persons for accessing the service – something Martine Abel-Williamson, World Blind Union Strategic Lead, is well aware of.

"A blind person might not know where other passengers are in order to maintain safe social distancing and many blind persons may even locate other passengers with their white cane, which is not appropriate.

"Some buses will not be enabling the front door of the vehicle that is often the entrance and exit with kneeling capacity to enable wheelchair users and other physically impaired persons to safely access the bus. The back door entrance and exit might be safest for social distancing, but it’s often an inaccessible point of entry."

To ensure access to services and the ability for workers to access their workplace, funding for alternative transport through Total Mobility has been increased so the service can be provided at low or no cost.

Usually, local government bodies cover up to half the cost of a taxi fare so that the cost is not so much for the older or disabled person.

Since 14 April, TM trips have been free for clients, up to the regional fare subsidy cap.

This means that for a limited time, TM clients only pay a fare if their trip exceeds the regional fare subsidy cap. Regional fare subsidy caps are also referred to as maximum contributions per trip and these amounts differ across New Zealand. Read more about regional schemes

Under Alert Level 2, you can use your TM card with TM taxi operators for most travel. 

The fare subsidy is for the transportation of Total Mobility customers with permanent disabilities only. For home delivery options for Total Mobility customers and other people more vulnerable to COVID-19, more information can be found on the COVID-19 website 

You should not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate/quarantine, feel unwell or are awaiting COVID-19 test results (except if travelling in a private vehicle following advice from a health official, Healthline, a hospital or your GP).

Further details are provided on the Ministry of Transport website.

Learn more 

Total Mobility Scheme Health Navigator, NZ
COVID-19: Information for disabled people and their family and whānau Ministry of Health, NZ