Media Release

Fairer Public Transport Fares

by Greens' MLC Mark Parnell

February 27th, 2018 8:00 am

The Greens want to see a major revision to bus, train and tram fares to encourage more people to use public transport, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader, Greens SA.

The Parliamentary Budget Advisory Service has costed a number of Greens’ election initiatives including:
1. Redefining the “peak” when full fares must be paid to exclude times when public transport is poorly patronised, such as late evening and on Saturdays. [cost: c. $6 million per year]
2. Free travel for primary and secondary students going to and from school [cost: c. $8.5 million per year]
3. Free travel for seniors at all times, not just off-peak. [cost: c. $1.5 million per year]

“Adelaide’s public transport pricing arrangements don’t make a lot of sense.  Train services at midnight or buses on Saturday afternoons are priced as “peak”, even though they carry very few passengers.  Most other cities and countries distinguish between “peak” and “off-peak” rather than Adelaide’s quirky “interpeak” fares.  Better reflecting the reality of truly busy times to charge full fares is fairer and may encourage more people to use public transport especially at nights and on weekends.

“With 80% of school students now being driven to school, it’s time to re-think strategies to encourage more independence and give kids more exercise.  Walking and cycling are great options for the 80% of kids who live within 2kms of school, but for those who travel further, public transport and potentially a short walk either end, is a great option to reduce traffic congestion and help kids be more independent.  Making school day travel free might be the incentive that some families need to embrace public transport.

“Seniors already enjoy free public transport outside peak periods, however having to pay before 9am or after 3pm can be a disincentive to older South Australians who undertake volunteer work in schools, hospitals and other public facilities, where their hours of unpaid work may not fit neatly with the interpeak period.  For only $1.5m per year, we can free up our seniors to contribute more to society and stay active in the community.” concluded Mark Parnell.

Authorised by M. Parnell, Parliament House Adelaide.