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Cheaper Bus fares! Would that be a plus?

By paperboy - 29 June 2008 51 is reporting here that the Queensland Government is cutting public transport fees by up to 67 per cent to get more people to use public transport.

The Premier Anna Bligh said “Combating congestion is one of the most important tasks my government faces and there is no better congestion buster than affordable public transport.’

Hmm. Wonder if it would work here?

What’s Your opinion?

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51 Responses to
Cheaper Bus fares! Would that be a plus?
Thumper 10:16 am 30 Jun 08

If it were significantly cheaper then I would seriously thinking about catching a bus.

jimbocool 10:08 am 30 Jun 08

Many years ago – 1995 from memory – ACTION bus drivers as part of a wider ACT Public Service enterprise bargaining campaign refused to collect fares. This lasted several weeks. When all the dust settled and it came time to calculate the cost of all the missed fares, it was discovered that it only added 12% to the cost of running ACTION in that period while passenger boarding numbers went through the roof. The adminsitrative cost of handling fares takes a big chunk out of the fare itself – such that the marginal benefit is very marginal indeed.
With an organisation that runs on a huge subisdy anyway, the marginal cost of scrapping fares wouldn’t be that great – and usage would grow substantially.
As an aside I also remember that as part of the wider campaign the Chief Ministers Department payroll section stopped processing Ministers’ pay…those were the days when industrial action was fun

blood_nut 9:36 am 30 Jun 08

I second that Blueberry.

It cost my partner and I $12 to wait in the cold for 10 minutes before standing up in a crowded bus with (often smelly) strangers on the way to and from work.

Alternatively it costs $5 to drive in and pay for parking.

If it was sigificantly cheaper I’d use the bus.

blueberry 9:20 am 30 Jun 08

I don’t know if it would work for everyone, but i would love it!. I catch the bus most days but it is hard to be dedicated when it actually costs half as much to park near my work then it does to catch the bus to and from work, Plus my going home bus is usually so full there is as many people standing as there are sitting, which is not the most enjoyable experiance after a long day at work.

I Recentle went to brisbane to visit family and was really amazed at how great their public transport is. For the same amount as a one way bus ticket in canberra you can get an all day pass for the bus,train and city cat for the whole city and even though the busses are some times a little late beacuse of traffic problems it generaly dosen’t take very long to get where you are going.

Pesty 9:15 am 30 Jun 08

How about park & ride? Drive to your nearest major bus station (Belco, Gunners,City,Woden,Tuggers etc)have busses running every 15 minutes at peak times express between them. Then, you may have a system that goes some way towards being a viable option?

Pesty 9:08 am 30 Jun 08

The biggest gripe is usually not the cost, or the frequency of the busses, but how long it takes to get anywhere! I suspect the majority of RA reders are public servents? Contrary to common belief most of you guys and many others work long hours, an extra hour or more out of your day is just not an option no matter what ther savings. Even if it was free!

Thumper 8:17 am 30 Jun 08

Public transport, by it’s very definition, is not supposed to run a profit.

Woody Mann-Caruso 8:08 am 30 Jun 08

I’m pretty sure ‘eleventy billion’ is just another way of saying ‘metric f…load’.

postmanpat 7:42 am 30 Jun 08

Your kidding aren’t you? Action are struggling to cope with the extra passenger numbers at peak times as it is.

JC 1:03 am 30 Jun 08

$11 Billion, bloody hell that is a lot, sure you don’t mean $11 million? As for it being a loss I wouldn’t look at it that way, I would look at it as an $11 million investment in public transport. It needs to be so much more.

There is no way ACTION will ever turn a profit, I doubt any public transport system in a city as sparsley populated as Canberra ever could. As for the routes, provided we as a community were willing to spend the extra then we could have services that don’t go ‘via Melbourne’ as it was so put. But sadly the spread out layout of Canberra means that is the only one it can be done, without a dedicated route serving each and every suburb. Although thiking about it doing that you would have people complain about having to change buses….. In a city like Canberra transport can just never win.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:28 am 30 Jun 08

Scheduling and route-planning are complicated problems. I suspect that with Canberra’s layout it’d be a matter of fast, cheap, convenient – choose two. Maybe we should have a comp on The RiotACT – design a new network, best one wins…something.

Jono 11:17 pm 29 Jun 08

No, the prices are pretty good as they are. What they need to do is introduce more routes so that the service is actually convenient, and so that I don’t have to be crammed on to packed-full busses the entire way to work.

miz 9:36 pm 29 Jun 08

They could trial a free week of travel to get a feel for ‘real’ demand (eg if almost everyone suddenly had to travel by bus due to petrol prices) followed by a proper feedback opportunity (so feedback is obtained from those who usually don’t use buses as well as those who do).

I’d like to see local pollies on the buses regularly too. They should not complain about the cost/deficit if they have no experience of how the bus network actually works.

el 9:25 pm 29 Jun 08


And perhaps instead of spending thousands of dollars on prime time TV commercials saying how wonderful the service is, they could introduce more routes and employ more drivers.

Felix the Cat 9:12 pm 29 Jun 08

ACTION is already running at a 11ty billion dollar loss so reducing fares isn’t going to help the bottom line. I don’t think a fare reduction would encourage many people onto buses though, sure it would encourage a few scrooges (it is already cheaper than driving your car to the City and paying parking) but the thing that would encourage the most people would be sensible and timely bus routes. Ones that don’t go via Melbourne and take two or more hours and multiple buses for what is a twenty minute car trip.

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