Bus fares going up up up

By 16 December, 2013 33

bus

Mayor Rattenbury is letting it be known that a stonking 7.5% bus fare increase is going to hit in the new year:

New fares for travel on ACTION buses will come into effect in the New Year, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, announced today.

“From 4 January 2014, ACTION bus fares will increase by 7.5 percent. This is just the second time fareshave increased since July 2010,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The fare increase reflects continuing improvements to ACTION’s service, including new bus shelters, upgraded bus stops to comply with disability standards, new buses and dedicated bus lanes and bus priority measures.

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33 Responses to Bus fares going up up up
#1
enrique3:06 pm, 16 Dec 13

Conveniently timed around this… http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/no-more-free-parking-for-canberra-public-servants-20131215-2zfgn.html

Way to make an opportunity out of it Shane.

#2
cheryanne3:29 pm, 16 Dec 13

Great so now I’m expected to pay more for a worse service. The new plans for the Kambah to Civic peak commute are pathetic. It already takes nearly 50 minutes when I catch one bus now how long is it going to take when I have to take 2 buses?

#3
Genie3:37 pm, 16 Dec 13
#4
pajs3:51 pm, 16 Dec 13

The 7.5% is a bit of a hike, but works out about an extra $1.90 a week for a work day commuter.

#5
Reprobate3:57 pm, 16 Dec 13

“From 4 January 2014, ACTION bus fares will increase by 7.5 percent. This is just the second time fares have increased since July 2010,” Mr Rattenbury said.

…and the second rise in under 12 months, with the last 5% increase applied from February 2013.

Loving the “social equity” of Mayor Rattenbury’s government, where party goers who choose to go out to clubs and pubs in the City at night get free bus rides but workers, students and others who need to use public transport to earn or learn cop two price hikes in a year.

“The fare increase reflects continuing improvements to ACTION’s service, including new bus shelters, upgraded bus stops to comply with disability standards…” Blame the crips, nice!
,

#6
Smackbang4:01 pm, 16 Dec 13

“The fare increase reflects continuing improvements to ACTION’s service, including new bus shelters…”

The new bus shelters are being constructed under the contract with Adshel, in which (by my understanding) the cost of the new shelters is borne by Adshel. In return Adshel gets the revenue from the advertising that now features in our bus shelters.

So can anyone explain what the fare increase has to do with new bus shelters?

#7
Felix the Cat4:26 pm, 16 Dec 13

Maybe ACTION are trying to make up the deficit from the free Nightrider buses.

#8
Martlark4:35 pm, 16 Dec 13

Smackbang said :

“The fare increase reflects continuing improvements to ACTION’s service, including new bus shelters…”

The new bus shelters are being constructed under the contract with Adshel, in which (by my understanding) the cost of the new shelters is borne by Adshel. In return Adshel gets the revenue from the advertising that now features in our bus shelters.

So can anyone explain what the fare increase has to do with new bus shelters?

Not all of the new shelters are Adhsel. Many older ones have been improved to make it easier for mobility impaired users to get to the bus. I’ve seen some of the older concrete shelters relocated to bus stops that used to have nothing.

#9
Madam Cholet4:48 pm, 16 Dec 13

Hmmm. And this is on the back also of a two week go slow because according to Action, no one needs to get to work because we are all on holiday.

In our neck of the woods a new park and ride has been established right outside of the Calwell Club. From what I can ascertain, just going on what I can see from my vantage point and the general lack of other patrons keeping me company at the closest bus stop, the main users of this new area are….wait for it…yes, you guessed it, the patrons of the Calwell Club – on a Friday and Saturday night.

#10
dph4:53 pm, 16 Dec 13

Reprobate said :

Loving the “social equity” of Mayor Rattenbury’s government, where party goers who choose to go out to clubs and pubs in the City at night get free bus rides but workers, students and others who need to use public transport to earn or learn cop two price hikes in a year.
,

I’m going to take a guess & say those party goers are also, workers, students & others…

I think we’d all much rather free buses than drink drivers.

#11
bikhet5:01 pm, 16 Dec 13

Does this mean the public subsidy of ACTION is going down? Hahahahahahaha!

Suck it and make the buses free. We already pay $100M of their $120M cost. Yes, I know there’s an argument that people don’t value things they don’t pay for, but:

a) we pay for ACTION anyway, just indirectly; and

b) most people don’t seem to value Action anyway.

#12
TP 30007:10 pm, 16 Dec 13

I suppose we have to pay for our white elephant light rail somehow.

#13
joingler7:40 pm, 16 Dec 13

Before the price increase in February, I was paying $63 per month. After this next increase, I’ll be paying $86 per month. That is a 27% increase in 11 months. Still paying significantly less than other cities but still a massive jump.

To be fair to ACTION, services have improved immensely for me. If we had a decent weekend service, I wouldn’t complain about a fare increase one bit.

#14
Mysteryman7:45 pm, 16 Dec 13

bikhet said :

Does this mean the public subsidy of ACTION is going down? Hahahahahahaha!

Suck it and make the buses free. We already pay $100M of their $120M cost. Yes, I know there’s an argument that people don’t value things they don’t pay for, but:

a) we pay for ACTION anyway, just indirectly; and

b) most people don’t seem to value Action anyway.

I agree with this. If those number are accurate, ditch the fares completely and make the buses free.

#15
dpm7:52 pm, 16 Dec 13

I think it’s a tough balancing act for them.
They lose money on ACTION, but would like to lose less.
Meanwhile, they make a lot more $$ from pay parking. So, the balance is to keep the car parks full, while trying to minimise the loss on the buses.
If they make buses actually useful for too many people, they might lose parking revenue! :-)

#16
gooterz8:46 pm, 16 Dec 13

Are they only increasing prices where there are increased services/ new free shelters/ decimated bus lanes?

We have none of those and get a shifty reduction in service. The cut in services in Kambah pushes the bus travel time out to 2 hours, each way.

I take this is going to be a regular increase in fares, everyone else has to pay for Gungahlin’s magical gold railway.

I wonder why no one wants to move their business to Canberra surely the benefits of free buses would recoup the 10million.

Watch the parking go up now too.

When’s the next election?

#17
magiccar911:31 pm, 16 Dec 13

Great! More money wasted on a two-bit operation that couldn’t organise themselves if their lives depended on it.
In regards to these ‘new bus shelters’. Who’s idea was it to make them out of glass? Sure they look great for the first few days, until the increasing degenerate society among us decide its funny to smash them. The stop near my place has been smashed at least 4-5 times in about 8 months its been there. Now I know where Canberra’s increased bus fares are going. Thanks!

#18
BimboGeek8:09 am, 17 Dec 13

In Melbourne, the one tram that’s free is the one on a loop around the edge of the CBD. Ostensibly this is to help tourists get around but it’s also handy for students and small business hanging out on the North fringes of the Hoddle Grid who need to get to the financial district or top end lawyers on short notice (or for shopping trips if your investors actually give you enough cash to pay yourself a wage above the poverty line).

If you were to make one Canberra bus service free that could clear up congestion and make a big difference, what would it be? I’m thinking the single digit services are pretty important because inner suburbs dwellers know that driving into the city is a hassle and the pressure to produce the right change or an up to date card might be all a young doofus professional needs to say “dammit I’ll just drive.” I know because I’ve been that useless yuppie. I liked the bus to chill out and read a book but it was hard to get in the habit.

#19
rigseismic678:33 am, 17 Dec 13

Taxpayer subsidy of ACTION is now over $100,000,000 pa, that’s 100 million dollars. Canberra has a population of around 360,000.
So ACTION is costing every one of us $27.77 per year.
Money well spent? Personally I would like my $27.77 returned to me.
Incidentally it is one of the only government owned bus networks left in Australia, Hobart is another.

#20
Spiral8:53 am, 17 Dec 13

Madam Cholet said :

In our neck of the woods a new park and ride has been established right outside of the Calwell Club. From what I can ascertain, just going on what I can see from my vantage point and the general lack of other patrons keeping me company at the closest bus stop, the main users of this new area are….wait for it…yes, you guessed it, the patrons of the Calwell Club – on a Friday and Saturday night.

Ahhh yes.

That would seem to be the great extension to the Calwell Club car parking funded by the tax payer. The Calwell club must love that.

#21
davo1019:36 am, 17 Dec 13

rigseismic67 said :

Incidentally it is one of the only government owned bus networks left in Australia, Hobart is another.

and Sydney
and Newcastle
and Brisbane
and Darwin

not forgetting that every other capital cities bus services are run under contract for the respective government. ACTION’s farebox recovery is 17% and Melbourne’s is 22% given the relative economies of scale I’m not sure that these are too far apart.

Sorry what was your point again?

#22
steveu9:45 am, 17 Dec 13

bikhet said :

Does this mean the public subsidy of ACTION is going down? Hahahahahahaha!

Suck it and make the buses free. We already pay $100M of their $120M cost. Yes, I know there’s an argument that people don’t value things they don’t pay for, but:

a) we pay for ACTION anyway, just indirectly; and

b) most people don’t seem to value Action anyway.

Agreed. Make it free.

Show us the environmental savings that the buses are making on a quarterly reporting basis too whilst you are at it (ie. number of car trips saved, co2 etc.) versus the fuel usage and emissions of buses; to justify the environmental impact.

And set up a park and ride system for schools for gods sake. You may find more people catching the bus if people left the car at school when dropping off the kids and could get an express bus to the interchange from there.

#23
Gungahlin Al9:46 am, 17 Dec 13

Very disappointed to see this.

Public transport fees should be heading the other way, not up. Because with every year that goes by, the offset savings that public transport users bring in for the government in the way of reduced road costs more than offset (way more) the cost of any operating loss.

The biggest disappointment in this then is the failure to start considering the transport budget in its entirety, rather than picking off single bits and ignoring offsets. Near horizons.

#24
Canberroid10:07 am, 17 Dec 13

rigseismic67 said :

Taxpayer subsidy of ACTION is now over $100,000,000 pa, that’s 100 million dollars. Canberra has a population of around 360,000.
So ACTION is costing every one of us $27.77 per year.
Money well spent? Personally I would like my $27.77 returned to me.
Incidentally it is one of the only government owned bus networks left in Australia, Hobart is another.

Seriously? You’d rather have an extra $30 in your pocket per year and no public transport system in a city of ~350,000? Surely you recoup that through less traffic on the roads (particularly peak hour), less competition for parking spaces, productivity gains and govt revenue from tourism, jobs, interstate/international uni students etc that rely on public transport infrastructure, and social benefits to the disabled, elderly, and poor who don’t have the means to drive.

The govt should just make it $40/year and make the buses free.

#25
Innovation10:11 am, 17 Dec 13

steveu said :

bikhet said :

Does this mean the public subsidy of ACTION is going down? Hahahahahahaha!

Suck it and make the buses free. We already pay $100M of their $120M cost. Yes, I know there’s an argument that people don’t value things they don’t pay for, but:

a) we pay for ACTION anyway, just indirectly; and

b) most people don’t seem to value Action anyway.

Agreed. Make it free.

Show us the environmental savings that the buses are making on a quarterly reporting basis too whilst you are at it (ie. number of car trips saved, co2 etc.) versus the fuel usage and emissions of buses; to justify the environmental impact.

And set up a park and ride system for schools for gods sake. You may find more people catching the bus if people left the car at school when dropping off the kids and could get an express bus to the interchange from there.

It doesn’t even have to be park and ride at schools. ACTION just need park and ride (and bus transfer) facilities near most intersections on main corridors and direct bus routes along those corridors. This would encourage many drivers (not just Mum’s and Dad’s at school times) to pull over at the most convenient opportunity and bus the rest of their trip.

ACTION’s expense and need for Government subsidy is primarily because of the need to run buses in and out of suburbs and is made worse by having those suburban bus routes start and end at interchanges. While regular public transport suburban services are necessary, until the Government separates ACTION’s business model and finances to show the cost of suburban versus direct routes they never will be compelled to make each of those services more efficient.

#26
joingler12:16 pm, 17 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

In Melbourne, the one tram that’s free is the one on a loop around the edge of the CBD. Ostensibly this is to help tourists get around but it’s also handy for students and small business hanging out on the North fringes of the Hoddle Grid who need to get to the financial district or top end lawyers on short notice (or for shopping trips if your investors actually give you enough cash to pay yourself a wage above the poverty line).

If you were to make one Canberra bus service free that could clear up congestion and make a big difference, what would it be? I’m thinking the single digit services are pretty important because inner suburbs dwellers know that driving into the city is a hassle and the pressure to produce the right change or an up to date card might be all a young doofus professional needs to say “dammit I’ll just drive.” I know because I’ve been that useless yuppie. I liked the bus to chill out and read a book but it was hard to get in the habit.

Problem in making a single digit bus free is that they all extend out of the inner suburbs. The 7 goes to Belco while the 6 goes to Woden. The 3 goes to both and every telegraph pole in between. Making the 300 series or 200 free would be stupid as that’s where most of the revenue comes from.

The ‘Centenary Route 100′ is free. Does War Memorial, Parliamentary Triangle, National Museum etc. I’m unsure if it’s continuing into 2014 though and if it does I’m not sure it’ll be free. This is the only route that has benefit in being free to commuters.

#27
Gungahlin Al12:47 pm, 17 Dec 13

rigseismic67 said :

Taxpayer subsidy of ACTION is now over $100,000,000 pa, that’s 100 million dollars. Canberra has a population of around 360,000.
So ACTION is costing every one of us $27.77 per year.
Money well spent? Personally I would like my $27.77 returned to me.
Incidentally it is one of the only government owned bus networks left in Australia, Hobart is another.

See this is exactly what I’m talking about.

Take your $27 back. And then hand back $60 thanks. Because now we’ve shut down the public transport, our road construction costs have gone through the roof, our hospital costs have shot up, rehab from increased accidents, etc etc. Don’t even get me started on productivity losses due to big traffic problems.

You can drive all you like or have to, but get it into your head that every single person who chooses to use public transport makes your driving easier and saves you money.

Don’t believe it? Look up the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Benefit:Cost Analysis that preceded the light rail decision. Better than a 2:1 ratio of benefits over costs of implementing the entire network in one hit (not just the single line to the north).

#28
fromthecapital1:28 pm, 17 Dec 13

Did someone put the decimal in the wrong place?

#29
NoniDoll2:46 pm, 17 Dec 13

Gungahlin Al said :

rigseismic67 said :

Taxpayer subsidy of ACTION is now over $100,000,000 pa, that’s 100 million dollars. Canberra has a population of around 360,000.
So ACTION is costing every one of us $27.77 per year.
Money well spent? Personally I would like my $27.77 returned to me.
Incidentally it is one of the only government owned bus networks left in Australia, Hobart is another.

See this is exactly what I’m talking about.

Take your $27 back. And then hand back $60 thanks. Because now we’ve shut down the public transport, our road construction costs have gone through the roof, our hospital costs have shot up, rehab from increased accidents, etc etc. Don’t even get me started on productivity losses due to big traffic problems.

You can drive all you like or have to, but get it into your head that every single person who chooses to use public transport makes your driving easier and saves you money.

Don’t believe it? Look up the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Benefit:Cost Analysis that preceded the light rail decision. Better than a 2:1 ratio of benefits over costs of implementing the entire network in one hit (not just the single line to the north).

Also, if you could spring this non-driver who can’t ride a bike for a daily cab to and from work, that would be awesome. Thanks rigseismic67!

But yeah, price hike is a bit rich, especially so soon after the last one. Keep the 100 route and make it paid and there might be a bit of recoup?

#30
26048:09 pm, 17 Dec 13

Gungahlin Al said :

Look up the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Benefit:Cost Analysis that preceded the light rail decision. Better than a 2:1 ratio of benefits over costs of implementing the entire network in one hit (not just the single line to the north).

That report is getting quite difficult to find on the net. However, IIRC, it found that the cost/benefit ratio of improved bus services was nearly double that of light rail.

A complete analysis also would have considered the benefits of spending an equivalent amount improving roads (esp removing black spots and undertaking duplication to remove bottlenecks) – work which would also save lives, increase productivity and reduce pollution from cars travelling on those roads.

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