TransLink fare strategy receives mixed response

By: Jason Whittaker


A strategy to replace all paper tickets with the smart card technology by the end of 2010, announced yesterday, has

A strategy to replace all paper tickets with the smart card technology by the end of 2010, announced yesterday, has been met with a mixed response.

Brisbane-based commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track has welcomed the introduction of off peak discounts for the go card, however reported vox pops and comments posted by Brisbane residents on other media websites reflect a different attitude.

Rail Back On Track spokesman Robert Dow says the introduction of off peak discounts for the go card is a welcome move.

"There have been significant improvements in public transport overall and these improvements do cost," he says.

"Fares are to be increased but there are commitments for additional services."

Responding to an article on the fare changes on web-based news outlet, Brisbane Times, Jane of Brisbane says she is "appalled" at being "forced to pay more for a service that seems to simply be declining at a great rate of knots".

"You have to be joking," writes ‘petcol’ of Wacol. "If perhaps the trains ran to a timetable that allowed immediate access as in eruope (sic) every few minutes then perhaps."

And ‘wallet72’ from the Sunshine Coast says: "I'd love to use a Go card, but it costs an extra $20 a week right now, thanks to this absurd government it's going to cost even more soon."

The State Opposition has reiterated the comments, saying the 40 percent fare increase over four years will "rip off" public transport users in south east Queensland.

The Liberal National Party's Tim Nicholls has labelled the fare restructure a "mad grab for cash" by the Queensland State Government.

"If a fare rise was due it should have been flagged well and truly before the election and before the budget," Nicholls says.

"What we're seeing here is a mad grab for cash by a Government that has run out of money – $85.5 billion worth of debt, ongoing deficits and no plan to deal with it other than to whack Queenslanders in the hip pocket."

Under the new fare structure go card fares will be equivalent to the 2007 paper ticket cost. Paper tickets will be significantly dearer than the equivalent go card.

"Cost of public transport is an important factor but frequent accessible services is what will drive change," Dow says.

"The go card has had a long introduction and clearly has now reached the point to become the ticketing option for public transport in south east Queensland.

"The overall gains for improved efficiency for the entire public transport network are significant."

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