Australia, Bus Industry News

Tasmanian party calls for free buses to get state moving

The Greens in Tasmania will table a bill in parliament to reinstate free bus transport in the Apple Isle

The Greens in Tasmania will table a bill in parliament to reinstate free bus transport in the Apple Isle

The Tasmanian Greens party has called for the state to make bus transport free for all passengers to get the state moving.

In the wake of last year’s free public transport trial, Greens MP Vica Bayley says the Greens will table a bill in parliament to lock in cost-free fares for all future Metro bus journeys.

The trial in April last year aimed at providing cost of living relief, with Bayley saying it was “a raging success” with financial relief to commuters, helping increase bus usage and decline anti-social behaviour.

Bayley says it was a positive move that demonstrated a justification for long-term reform of ticketing on public transport in Tasmania.

“Since the trial was ended, things have clearly regressed with escalating anti-social behaviour, an ineffective introduction of security guards, driver shortages and the cancellation of services, all significantly affected by systemic underfunding of Metro by the government,” Bayley says.

“The Tasmanian Greens have an alternate vision for public transport in Tasmania that can lead to increased usage, better behaviour and long-term relief for passengers in the face of ever-increasing cost of living hikes.

“With proper Government funding, the cost of travel can be free for passengers and drivers can receive the wages and conditions they deserve. Paying drivers properly will help with driver recruitment and retention.”

Bayley says the Greens will introduce a bill for permanent, free bus travel across the Metro system. He says a functional public transport service is crucial for a healthy, vibrant community.

“By making Metro travel free we can remove a financial barrier from low income Tasmanians suffering under skyrocketing costs of living,” he says.

“Tasmanians can save money on servicing and refuelling their vehicles – putting that money towards their grocery bill, their rent or their mortgage. Increasing bus patronage will remove cars from the road, reducing both congestion and vehicle emissions.

“Overseas trial programs have proven successful, with several now a permanent fixture through Europe. The Greens want to get Tasmanians moving on a modern, fit for purpose public transport system that we can all be proud of and makes a statement about both sustainability and community support.”

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