Labor fare hikes driving away public transport users

27 September, 2011
Author: Charles Hodgson

Labor must explain how it will encourage more commuters to use public transport in the face of its plan to double the cost of fares, the State Opposition said today.
Shadow Minister for Transport Scott Emerson said massive hikes in train, bus and ferry fares by the failed Bligh Government was making public transport increasingly unaffordable for commuters.
“Labor’s plan to double the cost of fares by 2014 to pay for its financial mismanagement and blunders is driving passengers away from public transport,” Mr Emerson said.
“Since Labor announced its plan two years ago in 2009, after the State election, commuters have already been hit with two fare increases totalling at least 30 per cent with three more increases of 15 percent planned for the next three years, ” Mr Emerson said.
“When the Bligh Government announced two years ago it would double the cost of fares, it promised services would improve.
“But since then, according to the State Government’s own Translink Tracker, growth in patronage has stalled as passengers revolt against the endless fares increases.”
The most recent data showed the number of services on which people were forced to stand had jumped by 67 per cent in the morning peak period and 30 per cent in the afternoon compared to the previous quarter.
“Complaints and injuries were also up according to the State Government’s own figures,” Mr Emerson said.
“There has been almost a 25 per cent increase in complaints for services running late this year alone.”
Mr Emerson said commuters believe public transport was becoming less affordable, with the survey showing support falling to as low as 55 per cent.
“Labor has increased the fares to force commuters to pay the interest bill on its massive $85 billion debt.
“That’s on top of the other cost of living hikes under Labor including electricity and water bills that have sky rocketed between 60-70% in the last five years.