SA seniors lap up free fares

Seniors benefitting from Adelaide Metro’s free off-peak public transport scheme

Free off-peak public transport for seniors card holders has been a success in South Australia (SA), according to a new study by the University of Adelaide released this week.

SA transport minister Stephen Mullighan says free travel for seniors at all times outside of the morning and afternoon peak weekday periods was introduced in December 2013, and since then patronage has been exceptionally good.

"The university’s study found on average, seniors card holders are making more than 150,000 trips on public transport in the Adelaide metropolitan area every week," he says.

"This is a huge number of people using public transport to visit friends, family, go to appointments or do the shopping."

Public transport is a vital service for many South Australian seniors, and Mulligan believes the provision of free off peak fares has also helped ease congestion in Adelaide.

"Free public transport means that it is cheaper for our seniors to move around our communities and get into the city and it reduces congestion on our roads."

"The results of the study are a resounding vote of support for the provision of free public transport to seniors card holders."

Many older residents reported the service made it easier for them to be more social and participate in volunteering and part-time work, visit their grandchildren, attend sport and do their shopping.

More than 350,000 South Australians are now seniors card members and interstate seniors card holders are also eligible for a temporary pass in SA, allowing free travel for a maximum of 14 days.

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