Complaints spur cheaper fares

Criticism has prompted cheaper bus fares for some ACT students

September 12, 2012

Complaints some students in the ACT are paying too much for school bus services have caused the government to subsidize fares.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has announced the ACT Government will provide assistance to students living in Oaks Estate and Hall, inside the ACT border en route from Queanbeyan, NSW,
by ensuring they pay the same level of bus fares as other children in the ACT.

"I have received a number of representations and calls on talk back radio about the significant increase in the student term ticket prices for students who travel to schools in the ACT on Deane's buses," Gallagher says.

A current cross border public transport trial allows lower fares on Deane's off-peak services from Queanbeyan, NSW into the ACT.

It was developed as part of the Eastern Regional Transport Taskforce following the ACT-NSW Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Collaboration signed by Gallagher with NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell after a meeting on December 2, 2011.

But the discount has not applied to students catching Deane’s services from Oaks Estate and Hall.

"To ensure that all ACT students benefit from our reduced student fares when they travel to school, I have decided that those students who live in Oaks Estate and Hall should not be disadvantaged as a result of living in these villages that are within the ACT.

"This decision means that families who have paid for school term tickets to travel on Deane's buses will be reimbursed the difference between ACT student fares and the Deane's ticket prices from the date the new prices came into effect. This policy, which includes free travel for students who are eligible for the Student Transport Program, will also apply for any future fare increases and will take into account the ACTION student fare at that time."

The ACT Government, through the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate, expects to have the details of the new policy finalised by the end of September 2012.

Gallagher says the government will be in touch with Oaks Estate and Hall families about the process for the reimbursement of money that they have paid since the start of term 3 this year.

"The ACT Labor Government will continue to work on our regional relationships to ensure that cross border public transport is both affordable and accessible," Gallagher says.

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