Bus group joins call for integrated ticketing

In the midst of grand final footy week, the chorus is getting louder for compulsory year-round integrated event ticketing

Bus group joins call for integrated ticketing
Bus group joins call for integrated ticketing

By David Goeldner | September 29, 2011

The Bus Association of NSW has come out in support of the Tourism and Transport Forum’s push for integrated event ticketing for public transport.

BusNSW Executive Director Darryl Mellish says his association is a big supporter of integrated ticketing for major events.

"The major event bus network servicing Sydney Olympic Park combined with integrated ticketing for events like this weekend's NRL Grand Final has been a great success," he says.

"The convenience of including discounted public transport in the price of the ticket gives event goers a much better travel experience."

Mellish says increasing public transport usage for such events has benefits for the wider community – whether you are a footy fan or not – and is a point raised by TTF earlier this week in its call to have year-round ‘free’ bus, rail and ferry tickets to the big games, and not just for a handful of major events.

TTF Chief Executive John Lee says a report released by his organisation this week ‘Accessing Major Events’, claims many major sporting and event organisers are yet to come to the party and participate in integrated ticketing on behalf of their customers.

"Sports fans are being denied cheaper public transport because of the reluctance of event organisers to embrace integrated ticketing for major events," says Lee.

Releasing the report in the week leading to Melbourne’s and Sydney’s Grand Finals, played out on the same weekend, illustrates the regional difference between the two cities and respective integrated ticketing policies.

Lee says footy fans going to Saturday’s AFL grand final at the MCG will be denied up to a 77 per cent discount on public transport fares because the AFL is not participating in the Victorian integrated ticketing scheme.

"Families could have saved up to $30 in fares if this system had been in place," he says.

"In contrast, at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium fans going to the NRL grand final will be able to do so using one integrated ticket."

He says the seamless public transport approach should be adopted for all major events across the country.

The TTF report has found that in NSW, ANZ Stadium and the Royal Easter Show regularly use integrated tickets while those going to events at the Moore Park precinct are not given the same opportunity.

Lee says the SCG Trust has declined to participate in the NSW government’s integrated ticketing scheme which is making traffic congestion worse whenever major events are held at the SCG and the Sydney Football Stadium.

"In Victoria, less than a handful of events are participating in that state’s scheme," he says.

The report calls for the AFL to sign up so football fans can enjoy what can be considerably cheaper public transport.

In other states, Queensland has an integrated ticketing scheme through TransLink which provides public transport to major sporting stadia throughout the football season across AFL, Rugby League and Rugby Union.

Lee says Western Australia has over 100 events participating in its scheme and has what is Australia’s most comprehensive integrated ticketing coverage for major events.

Lee believes event organisers need to be vigorously pursued by state transport authorities.

"As a last resort, state governments should reserve the right to introduce legislation mandating integrated ticketing for large events," he says.

"The unwillingness of some event organisers to support integrated ticketing is not only disadvantaging event-goers and sports fan but subjecting the broader community to traffic congestion that could be alleviated by better public transport usage," he says.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook