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Public Transport Rip-off

By 12 January 2012 76

Our second car is currently out of rego, waiting for the Christmas tide to turn and money to start flowing again. My wife was going to take the kids for a trip to the mall tomorrow, which means using [gasp] public transport.

Now for an adult with 3 children, one under 5, the cash fare for a return trip adds up to $15.20. Had the car been registered, it would be more like [15km return at approx 8L/100km = 1.2 Litres. @ $1.45/L for unleaded = $1.75] 2 bucks.

Working on an average usage of say 4 trips per week for shopping and other things, it would be $60.80/week, or $3161.00 per year for bus fares.

The same cost for car is $364 in fuel, plus registration of &829.90 and say $500 in “book service” and insurance. This is still $1467.10 cheaper than a bus.

Myway [$2.52 single trip adult x 2 for return = $5.04, $0.95 single trip student [two of] return = $3.80] is $8.84/day or as traveled above equates to $1838.72, or $144.82 more expensive than a car.

WHY would anyone sacrifice this amount of money on a service that for starters you have to walk over a kilometre to access, exposed to all kinds of weather, that doesn’t take you exactly where you want and does not deliver your groceries to your driveway or doorstep? [Yes, I know about those who don't have licences or cars etc.] On top of that, if you rely on public transport it leaves you stranded after hours [does not operate all through the night], takes far longer than a car to get to destination and if you go further afield you have to get on and off up to 3 times.

ACTION – A Costly Travesty In Our Nation.

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76 Responses to Public Transport Rip-off
#1
colourful sydney rac9:22 am, 12 Jan 12

given that it is already heavily subsidised by the tax payer, what are you suggesting be done about it?

I catch buses every day to and from work and it is much more economical than driving. Using my way it costs me $2.52 each way ~ $5 per day. I could not park for that amount, let alone pay rego, insurance, petrol, servicing etc.

#2
Morgan9:33 am, 12 Jan 12

Sorry, but you forgot to include depreciation on your motor vehicle – Which includes a years of service and a kilometres travelled component, and would amount to hundreds a month. You also forgot to include parking.

Also if you were travelling as often as you say you would have had a Myway card, which at off peak rates would make it 55cents each way for two of your kids and $2 each way for your wife. That adds up to $6.20 a trip.

I’m not endorsing public transport as the most convenient option if you are carting three kids around, but it is not nearly as bad as you say.

Canberra has by far the cheapest public transport in Australia.

#3
MrMagoo9:37 am, 12 Jan 12

I think Colourful and Morgan ae pretty much covered anything I was going to add. It should be noted that those who ‘never’ use the bus have a rather conveluted view of it.

#4
sepi9:50 am, 12 Jan 12

ACTION has got a problem getting new customers though.

I dont’ have a Myway card but I wouldn’t mind catching thed bus to the local shop sometimes, but the cost for a very short trip is ridiculous, and I can’t be bothered organising the Myway thingy for very occasional trips.

so they’ve basically lost me as a potential customer.

I think they need some kind of ‘try the bus’ weekends or something, or they are only ever ogint to deal with their existing customers, and desperados whose cars break down etc.

#5
Innovation10:01 am, 12 Jan 12

I agree that school children of all ages should travel for free when with an adult. However, since it is only your “second car” that’s not registered, what are you doing with your first car. Perhaps the wife is the one that needs the car and not you.

#6
Madman10:04 am, 12 Jan 12

Another thing you have not worked out is the monthly travel cap for action.

You get capped at 36 paid trips a month so pay no more than $90.72 a month so that x 12 is $1,088.64 a year in transport. If you can get your car running, serviced, registered, fueled, maintained, parking fee’d and insured for less than that – Good luck to you!!!

I pay more than that in parking a year alone.

#7
plausibly_deniable10:05 am, 12 Jan 12

Riot Act readers are such entitled whingers.

While ACTION is actually very cheap in comparison to other cities – especially “per km” – I think there’s a real case for making it totally free. The increase in ridership/decrease in car use would make long-term sense and reduce the need for expensive roadworks.

#8
johnboy10:07 am, 12 Jan 12

plausibly_deniable said :

Riot Act readers are such entitled whingers.

While you are prone to sweeping over-generalisation?

#9
Felix the Cat10:11 am, 12 Jan 12

You mean you didn’t budget for your car rego??!!! UNBELIEVABLE after all the recent discussion on this matter – http://the-riotact.com/car-rego-blues/63151#comments

Agree though that buses (one “s” people…), aren’t the most efficient way of travel but you answered your own question as to why people use them; it’s because they have to, due to no rego or no car or maybe not old enough to drive a car. Taking into account parking fees at the town centres it would probably work out cheaper to catch the bus.

#10
katkat10:14 am, 12 Jan 12

As it’s obviously difficult for your wife to take the bus with the kids, I’m wondering why you don’t give her the other car to do it?

If you take the bus it will be less than half the cost, and if you can’t take a bus to your workplace you could carpool with a colleague or get your wife to drop you off instead.

#11
FioBla11:10 am, 12 Jan 12

If it costs more, and is less convenient to you, then don’t use it. e.g. if I had to entertain 3 kids I’d rent a DVD and wouldn’t pay to go to the cinema.

> Now for an adult with 3 children, one under 5,

> Working on an average usage of say 4 trips per week

> WHY would anyone sacrifice this amount of money

I guess for people who don’t have to take 3 children out 4 trips a week.

Oddly, a comment about how relatively affordable owning and running a car is, still reads like a complaint.

#12
Jethro11:40 am, 12 Jan 12

I think the answer lies in the fact that you are comparing the costs for 3 paying people to use a bus instead of a car. If it was just your wife commuting on a bus to work each day it probably would work out cheaper once you factor in parking, etc.

It’s similar to our family holidays interstate. If it’s just me going to visit friends flying is cheaper because I only have to pay for one airline ticket. If it’s the whole family, driving is cheaper because the car costs are fixed at the same price as if it was just me, but the cost of flying has just tripled.

#13
NoImRight11:52 am, 12 Jan 12

I bought a 100g chocolate from a charity for a dollar. Ive projected that out that if I live on them it will cost me eleventy billion dollars a year. Why would anyone pay this?

#14
Sgt.Bungers12:11 pm, 12 Jan 12

You’re failing to take into account the purchase and maintenance of a car, and parking as well.

Working 220 days per year and averaging $8 per day for parking, you’ve got $1760 in parking fees.

The cost of purchasing a car is massive as well, lets assume a $30,000 brand new family car, depreciating to $10,000 over 10 years… another 2 grand per year.

Servicing, tyre wear, $500 per year.

Petrol cost at a more typical Canberran 20,000k’s per year, ~8L/100k’s, $2,300 @ 1.459 cpl.

Insurance, ~$700 per year for a run of the mill vehicle.

I’m up to over $7,000, assuming there are no collisions, associated legal and medical fees, time off work due to injury, etc.

A few years ago NRMA calculated that the cost of running a new motor vehicle for 15,000 km’s a year from cost from $0.36 per kilometre for a Hyundai Getz (inc depreciation, insurance, rego, fuel, etc), right up to over $1 per kilometre for luxury 4WD’s.

If every trip you do there were 4 or 5 people in your vehicle, you may come out on top with a car in terms of $$… how often does that happen though. That said, time and convenience wise you’re almost always likely to come out on top with a car in Canberra.

Private cars are not cheap, but unfortunately for most families in Canberra owning at least one motor vehicle is an unquestionable necessity.

#15
KB197112:14 pm, 12 Jan 12

You forgot the purchase price of the cer.

#16
Grail12:41 pm, 12 Jan 12

I bought a MyWay card from the local supermarket for $20, then registered it on the web so I could add money to it using BPay.

The process was easier than using the self check-out at Woolworths.

While I agree that using the bus to transport kids is more expensive than incremental use of the car which you otherwise have anyway, I would suggest that the kids should have their card already for getting to school by bus.

Bus, bike and foot have worked well enough for decades, why do your special darlings require a chauffeur?

#17
arescarti4212:56 pm, 12 Jan 12

johnboy said :

plausibly_deniable said :

Riot Act readers are such entitled whingers.

While you are prone to sweeping over-generalisation?

Yeah, it is only the people who comment on the Riot Act who are entitled whingers.

It is interesting how people consistently underestimate the cost of car ownership when comparing it to other modes of transport though.

#18
The Dark4:03 pm, 12 Jan 12

Morgan said :

Canberra has by far the cheapest public transport in Australia.

I dunno, in Melbourne you don’t even need to pay for public transport…

#19
NoImRight4:10 pm, 12 Jan 12

The Dark said :

Morgan said :

Canberra has by far the cheapest public transport in Australia.

I dunno, in Melbourne you don’t even need to pay for public transport…

Who does then?

#20
Rollersk8r4:49 pm, 12 Jan 12

We’re a 1 car family and I catch the bus all the time. But would I use it to take the kids places – hell no!

#21
zippyzippy5:24 pm, 12 Jan 12

Hey yeah, you’re right – cars should be more expensive hey?

#22
gospeedygo5:30 pm, 12 Jan 12

The Dark said :

Morgan said :

Canberra has by far the cheapest public transport in Australia.

I dunno, in Melbourne you don’t even need to pay for public transport…

Unless you’re fare evading or I missed the ads, that is wrong.

#23
allyroger5:48 pm, 12 Jan 12

I wouldn’t take the bus if they paid me $1 to ride it. My car is more convenient and comfortable and suitable to transport my family. There, someone had to say it.

#24
screaming banshee7:19 pm, 12 Jan 12

Last car I bought and sold cost me $1750, I sold it 2 years later for $1600, I didn’t get it serviced, it never broke down, it never used oil and insurance was only $250/yr.

Why does everyone feel they need a new car these days? Perhaps this is the sacrifice some of you could make to make housing more affordable, just because your have the option of a novated lease at work doesn’t mean you have to take it.

#25
patrick_keogh7:31 pm, 12 Jan 12

screaming banshee said :

Last car I bought and sold cost me $1750, I sold it 2 years later for $1600, I didn’t get it serviced, it never broke down, it never used oil and insurance was only $250/yr.

Why does everyone feel they need a new car these days? Perhaps this is the sacrifice some of you could make to make housing more affordable, just because your have the option of a novated lease at work doesn’t mean you have to take it.

Think of the children! Not that many ANCAP 5* vehicles on the market at $1750.

#26
screaming banshee8:11 pm, 12 Jan 12

How many people do you think seriously choose a car based on the safety rating. Incidentally this was at the larger end of the medium car bracket. I would never consider putting the wife and kids into a micro regardless of safety rating, and even a small car would be pushing it.

#27
patrick_keogh8:17 pm, 12 Jan 12

screaming banshee said :

How many people do you think seriously choose a car based on the safety rating. Incidentally this was at the larger end of the medium car bracket. I would never consider putting the wife and kids into a micro regardless of safety rating, and even a small car would be pushing it.

Don’t know the percentage. I do. Have a look at the evidence… modern micros and small cars in many cases have greater survivability than older medium sized cars. Can’t argue with the evidence, even if many people don’t find it intuitive.

#28
p18:21 pm, 12 Jan 12

screaming banshee said :

Last car I bought and sold cost me $1750, I sold it 2 years later for $1600, I didn’t get it serviced, it never broke down, it never used oil and insurance was only $250/yr.

Why does everyone feel they need a new car these days? Perhaps this is the sacrifice some of you could make to make housing more affordable, just because your have the option of a novated lease at work doesn’t mean you have to take it.

I still have a car I bought for $5k eleven years ago. Having it registered most of the time is an extravagance I probably won’t be able to afford much longer. I have not paid for servicing or maintenance for about five years ( apart from parts).

The reason a hardly eve take buses though, is the fact that a twenty minute trip would take about 90min, and I usually ride a motorbike so I don’t pay for parking.

#29
p18:26 pm, 12 Jan 12

screaming banshee said :

How many people do you think seriously choose a car based on the safety rating. Incidentally this was at the larger end of the medium car bracket. I would never consider putting the wife and kids into a micro regardless of safety rating, and even a small car would be pushing it.

I recently bought a new (to me) car (the “family car”), and the safety reports were something I considered. Along with a million other factors.

#30
AsparagusSyndrome9:51 pm, 12 Jan 12

NoImRight said :

The Dark said :

Morgan said :

Canberra has by far the cheapest public transport in Australia.

I dunno, in Melbourne you don’t even need to pay for public transport…

Who does then?

People who can’t hurdle the ‘honest passenger’ barriers I suppose.

This public transport and car thing is all a bit too new-fangled for me. All motors and wheels and cards and things. I’m sticking with my trusty draught-horse, Clag. He’s a good old plodder, large enough to carry a medium-sized family, and free to park and refuel, on one of the many unmown public nature strips. You mark my words. In 50 years, the kids will all be driving these.

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