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Last chance to try out light rail for free with month of free travel ending on Sunday

Glynis Quinlan 23 May 2019 32

Canberrans only have until this Sunday to try out the new light rail service for free. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Canberrans who haven’t yet tried out the new light rail service for free only have until this Sunday to do so.

The city’s month of free rides on trams and buses comes to an end on Sunday 26 May, with Canberrans being encouraged to get on board and try the new public transport network during the last few days of free travel.

The ACT Government provided a month of free transport for people with MyWay cards from April 29 to build patronage and acceptance for its new integrated public transport system which was rolled out on the same day.

The initiative has led to record numbers of people using the new network but did not stop a torrent of complaints from disgruntled bus passengers who were unhappy about the loss of previous routes, longer commutes and the axing of some dedicated school buses.

Less than two weeks after the new bus service’s introduction, community pressure forced the ACT Government to make some improvements, including bigger buses for certain services, adding extra services past schools where there was high demand and adjusting bus stops near schools. It also added more light rail services, particularly where it had proven to be more popular than anticipated.

The ACT Government has had to make changes to its new bus network.

ACT Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said that so far more than 1,629,720 passenger journeys have been made by Canberrans using the new services, with record numbers recorded on every measure.

“We’ve offered a month of free travel to help people give it a go and get used to the new network,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“While this has been a big adjustment for a number of regular users, feedback is already showing people, including school students, are starting to get used to the changes and find a route that works best for them.

“We are also hearing more each day from new and existing users about how the new network has given them added options, and that they are now using public transport more, and in some cases using public transport for the first time,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“We are also giving priority to school-related travel issues, and Transport Canberra have been talking to schools, monitoring services and making adjustments. And our Transport Officers, Customer Service Assistants and other staff have been out and about, helping people at interchanges and at light rail stops.

“We hope people will continue to use public transport after the free period concludes, and we will keep monitoring the system as people settle into travel patterns and get used to our new integrated public transport network.”

With paid services starting back up on Monday, May 27, Canberrans are being reminded to top up their MyWay cards and avoid fines of up to $181 for travelling without a ticket.

Passengers are also being reminded to tap off on all services, including light rail, to ensure they pay the lowest possible MyWay fare.

MyWay cards are available from a select number of newsagencies, post offices, and Access Canberra outlets. Click here to see the full list.

MyWay cards are $5 for adults, $2.50 for students and concession card holders, and free for seniors. They need to be topped up to pay for the cost of travel.

All MyWay fares include a free 90-minute transfer period so that passengers can connect to a different bus or light rail service or start their return journey using the same ticket within 90 minutes of purchase. Daily tickets are valid until midnight on the day of purchase.


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32 Responses to Last chance to try out light rail for free with month of free travel ending on Sunday
Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:10 am 25 May 19

For tram travellers that have no other way to commute into the city and return the card name will change from “MyWay” to “OnlyWay”.

Michael Doyle Michael Doyle 11:20 pm 23 May 19

Not free if you dont have myki card !

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:17 pm 24 May 19

    Michael Doyle but your Myki will get you an all-stations ride to Pakenham.

    Michael Doyle Michael Doyle 3:45 pm 24 May 19

    Tim Cole ha ha i mean my way I think lol

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 10:48 pm 23 May 19

still no way to do fare checks on the tram

    Elizabeth Zatschler Elizabeth Zatschler 2:44 pm 24 May 19

    Stas Idowu They were checking MyWay cards for the tag on Wednesday morning at Gungahlin.

    Mark Parncutt Mark Parncutt 6:43 pm 24 May 19

    Stas Idowu They checked my MyWay card even though it was free to travel! They have handheld devices that check the card.

    Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 6:44 pm 24 May 19

    Mark Parncutt oh wow, what's the point now lol

Mathew Grant Mathew Grant 8:06 pm 23 May 19

Record numbers because there is 0 bus services from gungahlin to civic. Pathetic. Just so they can say the light rail is a success.

Karen Joy Stone Nowak Karen Joy Stone Nowak 8:03 pm 23 May 19

Wasn't free for us!!! Cost us $28 return from Civic to Gunghalin. We had to purchase My Way cards if we wanted "free" travel, so it's not exactly "free!!!"

    Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 8:23 pm 23 May 19

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak tough life... just get a myway card!

    Tanya Trezise Tanya Trezise 8:39 pm 23 May 19

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak What is a “myway” card? 🤔

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak Karen Joy Stone Nowak 8:45 pm 23 May 19

    Tanya, it's like a bus pass debit card. You buy one and load it with say $10. Then you get on the bus/tram and scan it and it deducts whatever the fare is as I'm pretty sure they don't accept cash. 🙂

    Teresa BRx Teresa BRx 8:51 pm 23 May 19

    which is why I didn’t try the tram when I was there as a visitor this week

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak Karen Joy Stone Nowak 8:53 pm 23 May 19

    Teresa, we went for the novelty factor. We live in Tuggeranong so it's certainly not something we would use regularly. 🙂

    Sue Whitton Sue Whitton 9:39 pm 23 May 19

    Teresa BRx - you came to our town?? would’ve been hilarious to see you @ Qbyn Hosp...

    Jodie Ruth Jodie Ruth 10:00 pm 23 May 19

    *are* disgruntled not were...

    Teresa BRx Teresa BRx 10:45 pm 23 May 19

    Sue Whitton had a pretty tight schedule. Will come next time

    Sam ZR Sam ZR 11:34 am 24 May 19

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak once again Barr has proven his ability not to tell truth

    Karen Joy Stone Nowak Karen Joy Stone Nowak 3:45 pm 24 May 19

    Seon Ferguson ... There was 4 of us so we'd have still have to have spent $20 to buy them. We don't use public transport so they'd be wasted. :)

Greg Radar Millgate Greg Radar Millgate 7:54 pm 23 May 19

"Record numbers"... wouldn't any number be a record given there were none before?

    Thomas O'Brien Thomas O'Brien 8:08 pm 23 May 19

    Greg Radar Millgate true dat

    Matt Hogan Matt Hogan 6:20 pm 24 May 19

    Greg Radar Millgate you twist...you put facts in the story...

Siôn Rees Siôn Rees 6:54 pm 23 May 19

Be interesting to see how popular it will be when people have to pay for their fares. Have seen a few trams fully loaded go past as I drive along next to it. Hopefully that continues into next month.

Jason Preston Jason Preston 5:48 pm 23 May 19

Saw some pretty packed trams today, and no buses, so that probably add up. Hard when there’s a business monopoly sometimes....

    Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 8:22 pm 23 May 19

    Jason Preston busses are also free...

    Jason Preston Jason Preston 9:03 pm 23 May 19

    Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins not when there’s no buses on that route is what I was getting at

Greg Richards-Riches Greg Richards-Riches 5:34 pm 23 May 19

James Rousell Brett Dwyer trip out to Young and Frisky tomorrow night

Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 5:16 pm 23 May 19

Then we will see how successful it is. Reckon people will be less keen when they have to pay

bj_ACT bj_ACT 1:06 pm 23 May 19

So Minister Fitzharris continues to ignore the people who were worse off under the new network changes.

It’s terrible that a Labor Government can so easily snub their noses at people who don’t live near a Rapid route stop.

These changes were always about getting usage numbers up on the transport spine at the expense of so many other people the Minister just doesn’t care about.

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