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Free buses up for grabs

By 5 February 2010 30

In an amazing act of self-sacrifice, ACT public servants have convinced their union to include a request for free [commuter] bus trips in this round of EBA negotiations. Not for them the convenience of driving and parking somwhere close to work.

Here’s the ABC report: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/05/2811050.htm

The union claims it will bring a host of benefits to the ACT human and natural environment, but it will also make the buses more viable.

So here’s the question: would you catch buses if they were free?

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30 Responses to Free buses up for grabs
#1
JessP2:18 pm, 05 Feb 10

Providing John S and Katie G are on the bus I would too!

#2
niftydog2:27 pm, 05 Feb 10

A walk to the stop, ride on the bus, then another walk to work would easily take me over an hour and I’d arrive at work all hot and sweaty (or wet and frozen solid!)

I can ride my bike from door to door, lock up the bike & have a shower in about 45 mins and I walk into the office fresh as a daisy!

Personally, I’d be lobbying for bike sheds, showers and locker facilities instead.

#3
gooterz2:28 pm, 05 Feb 10

Then why wouldn’t you just make all buses free?

How much do they really make once you lose the cost of producting tickets and having comissions of the sellers!

Lucky we paid that few million for the new ticketing system!

#4
Muttsybignuts3:07 pm, 05 Feb 10

Why should someone get a free trip just because they are a public servant? The free trip should be for anyone who chooses to commute instead of drive.

#5
Feathergirl3:18 pm, 05 Feb 10

I think it’s a great idea. I don’t know how many people will take it up, but great to have the option there. The pubes register as bus users, get their bus passes, then the govie pays Action x amount for every time a pube bus card is swiped. All employers should do it. And build more bike lockers, or let us work from home more, and while they’re at it, would it kill to have more childcare centres at workplaces? Better (edible) canteen food would also be appreciated… sorry getting off track.

#6
Rawhide Kid No 23:25 pm, 05 Feb 10

As long as they also give free unlimited bus travel to Pensioners.

#7
MsCheeky3:32 pm, 05 Feb 10

This was reported in the C.Times today as the union ‘demanding’ free buses. I listened to this on ABC Radio this morning when they interviewed the union official. He put it that they had put it on the table as a proposal amongst others in the context of pay negotiations. Hardly a demand.

I thought it was a creative approach to negotiations and I liked it. I don’t expect it will get up, simply because it would be inequitable to those who don’t use buses. But there’s nothing wrong with creativity in a negotiation process.

Perhaps we could draw a parallel with shop assistants who get a discount from their place of work as a (very slight) compensation for the pitiful wages they work for. Nobody begrudges that. Sheesh, public servant bashing not required here! (And no, I’m not an ACT public servant.)

#8
steveu3:47 pm, 05 Feb 10

People on the old age pension free? Certainly. Other pensions? Hmm…
Personally I dont see anythign wrong with ACT Govt Public Servants getting free buses. I mean the AFP get free buses – so why shouldnt ACT Public Servants? (and Im not a ACT Govt Public Servant).
I do think in general bsues should be free, and the shortfall in fare should be provisioned under the existing pay parkign revenue (and I am not suggesting putting up pay parking any further). ACT Govt gets an obscene amount of money from rates – particularly with the explosion of MDU’s int eh last 10 years etc.
Cheers
Steve

#9
Jim Jones3:56 pm, 05 Feb 10

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

As long as they also give free unlimited bus travel to Pensioners.

How about free unlimited bus travel to the soilent green factory?

#10
SolarPowered4:24 pm, 05 Feb 10

MsCheeky – a voice of reason. Sounds like a Canberra Times beat-up.

(and i am not, nor have ever been, a PS)

#11
astrojax4:37 pm, 05 Feb 10

nice pun, jim – but it was soylent…

this is farcical – but then, this is the act self government; would we expect less?

#12
bd845:38 pm, 05 Feb 10

Two major things they would need to consider: most people will not catch a bus due to ACTION consistently putting up services that go nowhere and the slowest possible route and the fact that the network is unlikely to cope with the huge number of additional passengers should even a fraction of the 18k people take up the offer. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be voting for the deal if it was used as an excuse for a lower pay rise.

#13
Fiona6:40 pm, 05 Feb 10

I would rather they actually put up for my pay rise, since I don’t bus or drive to work. Two percent’s a little stingy…

#14
taninaus7:08 pm, 05 Feb 10

This is the union asking, not the workers – it certainly wasn’t in any discussions we have had with the union or in any of the proposed list of concessions/entitlements that were discussed so it is out of left field. Personally I agree with Fiona – pay me what I am worth and what the market is getting paid (eg. Commonwealth) rather than offer me a perk I have no interest or intent in using.

#15
JC3:23 am, 06 Feb 10

Muttsybignuts said :

Why should someone get a free trip just because they are a public servant? The free trip should be for anyone who chooses to commute instead of drive.

Why? It is all part of enterprise bargaining. In the end the employee, ie the public service will get less cash in return.

No reason why any private enterprise employee couldn’t ask their own employee for the same.

#16
steveu8:03 am, 06 Feb 10

I think it would be a great idea, if at the very least that people could salary sacrifice an annual bus ticket.
Trying to encourage people to catch the bus – well if you have to drive your kids to school or care, then you will never be catching the bus unless you can park the car at the school and take the bus to work from there. I dont think the schools would like that idea though.
Cheers
Steve

#17
Ian9:07 am, 06 Feb 10

I’d be telling the union to just get me the money, and I’ll decide how I want to use it.

#18
vg11:36 am, 06 Feb 10

“I mean the AFP get free buses “

So you’re saying that your 100% sure that every person in the AFP gets ‘free buses’? Do you think there’s a caveat on anyone who does from that organisation. The caveat may be something significant

#19
I-filed4:20 pm, 06 Feb 10

Should be offered as a voluntary salary packaging thing – otherwise, public servants who have to drop kids to childcare, or who don’t live convenient to a good bus route, will be disadvantaged … and how about public servants who commute from New South Wales?

#20
steveu7:31 pm, 06 Feb 10

Sworn AFP members in uniform get free bus rides, yes. I cannot comment on non-sworn members or those sworn members not in uniform. Im sure somewhere here will clarify for us.

#21
TP 30009:52 pm, 06 Feb 10

I know of a few detectives who catch buses to & from work. The only weird thing is that to get free travel they flash their badge at the driver.

I would of thought as a way to keep their profession a secret they would get a monthly ticket.

#22
vg11:27 pm, 06 Feb 10

Why is being a detective a secret? You’re getting plain clothes and undercover mixed up. An actual undercover cop wouldn’t do anything to indicate they are a cop…like showing ID

#23
georgesgenitals7:24 am, 07 Feb 10

Ian said :

I’d be telling the union to just get me the money, and I’ll decide how I want to use it.

Fair point, but I reckon lots of people could do better in salary negotiations without the unions…

#24
georgesgenitals7:29 am, 07 Feb 10

vg said :

Why is being a detective a secret? You’re getting plain clothes and undercover mixed up. An actual undercover cop wouldn’t do anything to indicate they are a cop…like showing ID

Hey man, the world’s a crazy place…

#25
Blingerific8:44 am, 07 Feb 10

I already pay to use the buses so yes, a free bus would be good for the rare days I don’t use my pushbike. And despite the fact I have a 30 minute walk either way I quite like catching the bus as you get to laugh at the grand incompetence that is Canberra’s drivers, rather than having to take my life into my own hands driving my much smaller and vulnerable (than the bus) car on the same roads as they (I could catch the 6 into the city and bus to work from there but 30 minute walk early in the day is a great start to the day!)

#26
dvaey5:27 pm, 07 Feb 10

steveu said :

People on the old age pension free? Certainly. Other pensions? Hmm…

AFAIK, pension rates are equal. Why should two people receiving the same welfare payment amount, receive different concessions?

Agree with others though, that the whole bus system should be free, but I think the government understands that if it was free, the current system couldnt handle the number of people who would switch their cars for buses, and it would leave a negative impression when the system couldnt handle the load.

#27
steveu7:45 pm, 07 Feb 10

pension rates are the same, though people are on pensions for very different reasons. I would argue that aged pensioners have spent a lifetime (in most cases) contributing taxes, and my personal opinion is that they deserve it. I cannot comment on the wealth of other pensions out there however.
Cheers
Steve

#28
KidKenosha10:43 am, 08 Feb 10

Although more people on the buses is generally a Good Thing, here’s my problem with this. Public servants, who are uniformly on comfortable (or at least adequate) salaries and can generally afford to own/operate cars, are to receive free bus travel. However, students like myself (often living below the poverty line) still have to fork out at least $4 a day to get to and from campus. Maybe it’s just me calling a spade a fucking shovel, but how the hell is that fair?

#29
ML-58512:23 pm, 08 Feb 10

KidKenosha said :

However, students like myself (often living below the poverty line) still have to fork out at least $4 a day to get to and from campus.

If you are paying $4 a day as a full-time student to catch buses, then you are paying too much. A concession daily ticket is $3.70.

Rawhide Kid No 2 said :

As long as they also give free unlimited bus travel to Pensioners.

ACT residents 75 years and older are already entitled to unlimited free bus travel. It’s called a Gold Card.

#30
KidKenosha5:26 pm, 11 Feb 10

ML-585 said :

KidKenosha said :

However, students like myself (often living below the poverty line) still have to fork out at least $4 a day to get to and from campus.

If you are paying $4 a day as a full-time student to catch buses, then you are paying too much. A concession daily ticket is $3.70.

OK, sure. But the fact remains that that is $3.70 more than public servants would be paying under this scheme.

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