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Free buses for ever greater numbers of wrinklies

By johnboy - 24 June 2013 10

Mayor Rattenbury has announced he’s bringing the age of free bus travel down from 75 to 70:

Public transport will become more accessible to older Canberrans from July 1, 2013, with the qualifying age for free bus travel reduced from 75 to 70, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, said today.

“From 1 July 2013, the qualifying age for free travel using a Seniors MyWay card will be reduced from 75 to 70, providing free bus travel for close to 9,000 members of the community,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“Many older Canberrans face financial difficulties. Lowering the qualifying age for free travel will improve their access to public transport and enable more older Canberrans to fully participate in society, whether they wish to go to the shops, socialise with friends, visit a local attraction or just have an outing.

“The ACTION network is a convenient and accessible way for seniors to travel to their destination, with over 55 per cent of the bus fleet including easy access buses, featuring a low floor and the ability to accommodate two wheelchairs.

“Eligible seniors with a MyWay card will automatically be upgraded to receive free travel from 1 July.

The non elderly facing financial difficulties are not worth of consideration it seems.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Free buses for ever greater numbers of wrinklies
Vindalu 5:29 pm 25 Jun 13

I’ll leave it to the statistics to determine who the worst drivers in Canberra are, might have something to do with all the rice burner imports in police compounds and wrecking yards. Free bus travel makes sense, add a few more great bars and cafes near interchanges( and of course toilets) and it might show the parkway loonies that there’s more to life than being a very unskilled boy racer or female mobile phoneaholic.

54-11 3:16 pm 25 Jun 13

Those well off retirees are the ones least likely to use the bus service, so this will be used by the poorer ones, or the ones driving Yaris’s and Getz’s. Won’t do anything about the whackers in 4WDs, though.

Leon 11:53 am 25 Jun 13

I’m ambivalent over this one.

On the one hand, Canberra has plenty of well-off retirees who don’t need to have their ACTION bus travel subsidies increased from 80% (which is the general level of subsidy) to 100%.

On the other hand, Canberra’s public transport has more important problems to address.

beardedclam 9:53 am 25 Jun 13

troll-sniffer said :

There are an increasing number of economists who are advocating free bus travel across the board for a lot of the world’s cities. There’s not enough room in a Riot-Act post to even summarise their arguments properly but it would appear that in a lot of cases the marginal cost to the community of missing out on the revenue is more than outweighed by efficiencies gained, as well as community benefits otherwise rarely considered such as better use of land resources not devoted to parking areas etc.

Canberra would seem to be an ideal place to look seriously at a free bus system. Revenue is less than 20% of the operating costs. Strip out the inefficiencies and costs associated with fare collection and it might well be that the effective revenue is less than 10% of the operating costs. If a free bus service managed to replace just a few percent of car trips in Canberra a cost benefit analysis might show an overall gain for the community.

Just a thought. I’d love for someone with a better knowledge of the overall picture and at least a modicum of expertise and foresight to give their views.

what he said

Roundhead89 9:37 am 25 Jun 13

milkman said :

CraigT said :

How about they give it to anybody that can demonstrate they own a Toyota Yaris or a Hyundai Getz? That’s the kind of crap we need to get off the roads.

Or SUVs. Urgh…

You forgot Volvos…

wildturkeycanoe 9:20 am 25 Jun 13

YES! And remove licenses from the same, so they don’t cause chaos by doing 50km/h down the Parkway just because it’s raining a bit.

milkman 6:31 am 25 Jun 13

CraigT said :

How about they give it to anybody that can demonstrate they own a Toyota Yaris or a Hyundai Getz? That’s the kind of crap we need to get off the roads.

Or SUVs. Urgh…

troll-sniffer 11:22 pm 24 Jun 13

There are an increasing number of economists who are advocating free bus travel across the board for a lot of the world’s cities. There’s not enough room in a Riot-Act post to even summarise their arguments properly but it would appear that in a lot of cases the marginal cost to the community of missing out on the revenue is more than outweighed by efficiencies gained, as well as community benefits otherwise rarely considered such as better use of land resources not devoted to parking areas etc.

Canberra would seem to be an ideal place to look seriously at a free bus system. Revenue is less than 20% of the operating costs. Strip out the inefficiencies and costs associated with fare collection and it might well be that the effective revenue is less than 10% of the operating costs. If a free bus service managed to replace just a few percent of car trips in Canberra a cost benefit analysis might show an overall gain for the community.

Just a thought. I’d love for someone with a better knowledge of the overall picture and at least a modicum of expertise and foresight to give their views.

CraigT 9:46 pm 24 Jun 13

How about they give it to anybody that can demonstrate they own a Toyota Yaris or a Hyundai Getz? That’s the kind of crap we need to get off the roads.

gooterz 9:08 pm 24 Jun 13

Anyone over 60 should get it.

60+ are some of the worst drivers especially given their experience at it.

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