Gold Coast bus blitz

Responding to ‘terror’ on Gold Coast buses, TransLink and Queensland Police have mounted a bus blitz

Gold Coast bus blitz
Gold Coast bus blitz

July 17, 2012

Fare evasion and anti-social behaviour on Gold Coast buses are being blamed primarily on high school students, as Queensland’s Transport Minister Scott Emerson cites one in 12 students caught rorting the public transport system by refusing to pay fares.

Emerson says this week’s blitz was the start of a systematic effort to target fare evasion and bad behaviour on Gold Coast buses.

Across the first three days of the blitz TransLink's Senior Network Officers, assisted by police and Education Queensland, targeted bus routes servicing 24 Gold Coast schools and spoke to 1,391 students.

"I assure anyone looking to avoid paying a fare or misbehaving on Gold Coast buses that this is just the start," says Emerson.

"We've already identified 119 students who failed to pay a fare, and if caught again, we will take action through their school and parents."

The blitz on Gold Coast bus services was an outcome of the inaugural bus safety committee, chaired by Emerson and attended by operator representatives, driver representatives and government agencies.

"I listened to feedback from the operator Surfside and driver representatives who said poor behaviour was rife on many Gold Coast bus routes," Emerson says.

"I was disgusted to learn that over the past three years a growing number of students were using the no child left behind principle put in place following the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe in 2003 to avoid paying a fare."

However, no school-aged children were asked to leave a bus as a result of travelling without a ticket during this week’s blitz.

Emerson acknowledges the difficult problem, but says he won't be sticking his head in the sand and ignoring it.

The full results of the blitz will be assessed by the bus safety committee.

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