Sunshine Coast commuters Kieron Wallace and Jeff Addison will have the cost of their daily travel slashed. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Sunshine Coast commuters Kieron Wallace and Jeff Addison will have the cost of their daily travel slashed. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily John McCutcheon

Why it just got a lot cheaper to catch public transport

PUBLIC transport is about to become a lot cheaper with saving up to more than $1000 annually for journeys to and from Brisbane.

Public transport across the region will also be made cheaper with the State Government decision to reduce the number of fare zones from 23 to eight.

Internal travel on the Sunshine Coast has been reduced to four fare zones from 10 eliminating an inequity which made it more expensive to track north south than to travel the same distance westward across the region.

Are public transport fare reductions enough to make you leave the car at home?

This poll ended on 20 June 2016.

Current Results

Yes. If it's cheaper to ride than drive I'll do it.

46%

No. It takes too long, and it's too complicated, to use busses and trains to commute.

41%

I'd have to work out how the costs compare.

12%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the fare reform would not only make it more attractive for people to get out of their cars and on to public transport but it would also help ease road congestion.

"Modelling from the Department of Transport and Main Road shows this package will take seven million cars off our roads every year with more people using public transport," Mr Hinchliffe said.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow, who was on the advisory paned to consider the changes, said the Sunshine Coast did very well from the the new fare schedules making local travel "much more affordable".

"It's made public transport affordable for everyone.'' he said.

2017 fare savings, based on 10 peak journeys per week for 48 weeks.
2017 fare savings, based on 10 peak journeys per week for 48 weeks. Contributed

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Fairer Fares package would ensure almost all Sunshine Coast commuters would have cheaper fares and benefit from a range of incentives.

"We will continue the fare price freeze for the rest of this year, to allow implementation of the Fare Review, and in 2017," Ms Palaszczuk said.

An average Sunshine Coast customer travelling from Caloundra Bus Interchange to Brisbane CBD would save $1196.64 a year because their 15 zone trip would become a five zone trip.

"An average customer travelling from Nambour train station to Brisbane CBD would save $997.92 each year because their 17 zone trip would become a six-zone trip," Premier Palaszczuk said.

"Travelling from Gympie North train station to Brisbane CBD would also be $876.96 cheaper because the 23-zone trip would become an eight zone trip.

"Commuters travelling from Woombye train station to Cooroy Library will save $565.92 as their seven-zone trip becomes a three-zone trip.

"Most journeys across the Sunshine Coast will be within one or two zones for example commuters travelling from Coolum Beach Bowls Club to Mooloolaba Surf Club will travel in two zones instead of four zones saving $578.88 annually."

Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government's response to recommendations from the independent Fare Review Taskforce ensures the absolute maximum number of commuters benefit.

"Public transport fares need to be affordable, boost patronage and deliver a sustainable fare revenue stream to allow the network to grow," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"This relief package is the largest fare reform in a decade which will make fares fairer and lower the cost of living for many households."

Key changes to the SEQ fare structure from January 2017:

  • Fewer zones: SEQ's 23 travel zones will be simplified to eight.
  • Cheaper fares: Fares for all zones of travel will be slashed.
  • Extending off-peak discount: Peak period won't start until after 6am in the morning to encourage earlier travel and give these users cheaper fares. The 20 per cent off-peak discount will now apply for all travel between 7pm and 6am, between 8.30am and 3.30pm Monday-Friday and all day on weekends.
  • Kids go free on weekends: Children under the age of 15 will be able to travel free on the weekend on a child go card.
  • Senior discounts: Seniors and pensioners will retain the 'One, Two FREE' travel.
  • 8 and 50 for commuters: The Government will scrap 'Nine + FREE' and replace with 8 paid journeys and 50 per cent off subsequent journeys per week to deliver higher travel savings to more customers.
  • Concessions for Queensland job seekers: TransLink will work with Federal Agencies so jobseekers on Newstart or Youth Allowance will be able to access concession fares from early 2017.
  • Concession fares for asylum seekers: In line with other states like New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, asylum seekers in Queensland will be able to access concession fares to use public transport from early 2017.
  • New Fares Advisory Panel: The Government will establish a Public Transport Fares Advisory Panel to provide independent advice on future public transport fares, products and ticketing.

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