The South Australian government has announced that commuters in Adelaide will receive a free day of bus travel this week following a technology problem that caused passengers to be overcharged for transport fares.
It was reported last week that the problem caused new ticket validators to mischarge passengers due to it not being changed to daylight savings time.
When the clocks went forward to adjust to this time, validators didn’t follow suit, resulting in some people being charged at peak rates in non-peak times, with an apology coming in the form of a free travel day network-wide.
The government says O-Bahn trips weren’t included in this IT issue.
South Australian shadow transport minister Vincent Tarzia called on the government to refund all bus users who were overcharged.
“We want to see more South Australians using public transport, especially as public transport patronage hasn’t returned to pre-COVID levels, but we fear incidents like this just set us back,” Tarzia says.
“Daylight saving is not a new phenomenon in South Australia by any means, so this error shouldn’t have happened in the first place – let alone taken three or four days to fix.”
Tarzia says this issue isn’t at the fault of commuters, so they shouldn’t have to chase refunds.
“We believe the failure to address this issue promptly not only creates an unnecessary financial burden but sends the wrong message to public transport users and may very well discourage them from using our buses, trains and trams in the future,” Tarzia says.
“South Australia is in the grips of a cost of living crisis right now and every single dollar counts – so for some, this extra charge could mean the difference between being able to ride the bus or not.
“The government must act swiftly and refund every South Australian who was overcharged and restore faith in our public transport system.
“Hurry up and fix the clocks and fix the fares – it’s only fair.”