QLD patronage and freeze

Queensland has announced public transport patronage has increased, as a fare review is underway

Queensland public transport patronage increased as the state government has announced a freeze on fares across south east Queensland until July 1, 2016.

Patronage on the public transport network increased by 3.1 per cent between July and September 2015 compared with the same period last year.

An independent fare review is also underway in the state.

The data was released today by minister for transport Stirling Hinchliffe in the TransLink Tracker, a quarterly report of the performance of South East Queensland’s public transport network.

"The Palaszczuk Government’s decision to release the TransLink Tracker is about restoring accountability and transparency in our public transport network and overturns the former LNP government’s decision to withhold this data from the community," Hinchliffe says.

"It’s fantastic to see that after three years of stagnating under the former government’s watch, patronage on our public transport network is growing and is up by 3.1 per cent.

 "The full report provides a snapshot of south east Queensland’s public transport network performance and ensures full transparency about patronage, on-time running, customer enquiries, go card use, customer satisfaction, passenger safety, fare evasion and service kilometres.

"Through the TransLink Tracker, the community can measure how we are progressing towards our goal of providing a safe, integrated, reliable and efficient transport system."

The Queensland government has also announced a fare freeze until mid-2016.

Hinchliffe says the decision to freeze fares and not proceed with a scheduled annual CPI increase had been made to ensure commuters would not be impacted while the current fare structure in south east Queensland was being considered by the expert-led taskforce.

"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to restoring confidence in our public transport system and boosting patronage by delivering fair, affordable and sustainable fares across our network," says Hinchliffe.

"That’s why in August the Queensland Government appointed an independent taskforce of public transport experts to lead a comprehensive review of TransLink’s fare structure in South East Queensland.

"In the spirit of fairness, while the taskforce continues its work, the Palaszczuk Government will suspend the projected annual CPI increase due in January 2016."

Hinchliffe says affordability in public transport fares is a priority for the government.

 "Queenslanders can be confident that the review will deliver a fair and affordable fare structure that will help boost patronage while delivering a sustainable fare revenue stream to allow the network to continue to grow," he says.

Public transport fares regional services will not rise in 2016 as the Bus Cost Index has not increased.

The Fare Review Taskforce is set to release its recommendations for community consultation early next year.

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