Aus PT affordable globally

Most Australian residents on minimum wage don’t have to work long to cover their PT fares

Bus fares in Australia are relatively affordable, according to a study comparing public transport fares to minimum wage in various cities across the world released recently.

Beijing has the most affordable public transport network on this minimum wage comparison basis and London is the most expensive.

Sydney came in as the most affordable Australian city, followed by Perth and Hobart in the Nine Squared Fare Benchmarking Report 2015.

Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) executive director Michael Apps is encouraged by the findings, particularly at it is reassuring to know bus travel is affordable in Australian cities, but noted a broader study into quality of service may be me more informative.

"It’s an interesting study in affordability and is important in the context of encouraging people to use public transport and leave the car at home," he says.

"Price is especially important for people in lower socio-economic category, but price is not everything."

The goal is not to be the most affordable, but to provide a quality, reliable and useful network that people will be inclined to choose over private transport.

"The value people place in a product or service is often not determined by price alone, there are a lot of other factors that come into play," Apps explains.

"Whilst this study identifies that Australia rates well in context of price, more interesting study would be how we rank in overall value proposition, in choosing public transport over the car – and in this regard, I’m not sure we rate as highly."

Workers in Beijing can pay the average fare by working for seven minutes, Melbourne residents have to toil away for 24 minutes and Londoners must ply their trade for almost an hour on comparison.

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