Northern Territory fares rise

Northern Territory pensioners, seniors and carers have had their free bus travel privileges scrapped as government struggles to cover costs

December 5, 2012

Northern Territory pensioners, seniors and carers have had their free bus travel privileges removed as the territory’s government hikes fares to cover costs of an expanding network.

Northern Territory Transport Minister Adam Giles announced yesterday the concession card holders will pay $1 per trip from January 1, after travelling for free since 2009.

Other fare increases include:

  • Adult three-hour fare – up from $2 to $3
  • Adult daily fare – up from $5 to $7
  • Adult weekly fare – up from $15 to $20.

Giles says the fare increases
to lessen the burden on taxpayers.

"Since the last bus fare revision in 2006, the cost of providing urban bus services across the territory has increased by 65 percent from $13.46 million to $22.22 million," he says.

"Territorians, through the Northern Territory Government, are subsidising more than 90 percent of that cost in providing the public bus system."

In 2009, free bus travel for students, seniors, and concession holders was introduced.

Giles says the free travel scheme has contributed to a significant drop in overall government revenue.

He says the national average revenue from public transport is about 20 percent while in the territory it is less than 10 percent.

"Ticket sales data suggests the majority of the approximately 5.2 million passenger trips undertaken each year across the network are currently free of charge," Giles says.

says as the territory
bus network grows, more revenue raising measures will need to be adopted, including commercial advertising on buses from July 1.

Darwin Bus Service’s business will also be broadened to allow bus availability for private and school charter hire.

Students under the age of 18 and the vision-impaired or veterans will continue to travel for free.

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