Free after nine


A ‘nine-and-free’ Go Card initiative in southern Queensland could have a slow start

Free after nine
Free after nine

June 25, 2012

The start of mid-year school holidays coincides with a long awaited Go Card initiative to boost passenger numbers which continue to fall on southern Queensland’s ‘pricey’ public transport system.

The recently elected Liberal National Government in Queensland is promoting the ‘nine then free’ scheme as ‘fare relief’, although the actual price of travel won’t reduce.

Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson says regular weekday commuters using a Go Card from Monday June 25 would see savings with free travel after nine journeys in a Monday-to-Sunday week.

"That means regular weekday commuters who use their Go Card to travel to and from work five days a week will get their journey home on Friday and travel across the weekend for free," Emerson says.

"The LNP is serious about tackling cost of living pressure for Queenslanders and we are delivering yet another election commitment."

Emerson claims the scheme will restore confidence in southern Queensland’s public transport network by improving the affordability, reliability and frequency of public transport.

During the January to March quarter, affordability of Queensland’s public transport dropped to an all-time low – 45 percent on trains and 51 and 53 percent on buses and ferries.

With the revamped Go Card scheme in place, a regular weekday commute to Brisbane CBD from outer suburbs Oxley or Mitchelton could save up to $220 a year, while commuters travelling from Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast into Brisbane could save up to $642 each year.

But with the start of school holidays this week, and with many workers and students not using public transport again until July, it could be a slow start before any personal benefit from the scheme is realised.

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