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The surprise ACTION fare rise?

By johnboy - 2 July 2009 117

In the debate yesterday on rises to parking fees around town (ostensibly, at least in part, to make buses more attractive) Dommie raised an interesting point that this non-bus user had missed:

    #31 posted by dommie
    (Newbie)
    22:38, 1 Jul 2009

    Bus Fares went up 80c in one day!! I don’t get to watch the news very often and usually don’t pay much attention to the local stuff on tv. When I called the wonderful people on the ACTION helpdesk to enquire how this fare rise had been advertised there was no mention of any written print ads or posters. This was a complete surprise to me … yeah maybe I should get my head out of the sand but … when you stumble out of the house at 7.15am with three kids in tow with your cash in hand (and your paying daughters in hers), the last thing you want the bus driver to do is to look at you and say “your $1.20 short love, fares went up”. Communication in Government is abysmal at the best of times because they’re scared of wasting taxpayers money on advertising that won’t be appreciated. But this is something that affects many of the most vulnerable .. how many people were turned away from buses today because they didn’t have the right money?

    Come on ACTION communicate with your clientele.

So a hefty hike in the fares. Were bus users aware it was coming? One would think signs would have been up on buses a month in advance?

What’s Your opinion?


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The surprise ACTION fare rise?
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TP 3000 8:02 pm 13 Jul 09

He will & anyway all buses have quite a few cameras faced around the driver & being in City Interchange the CTV cameras will have an image of him. So hopefully the image will be circulated tomorrow at the earliest (if only to Police & ACTION Staff).

Mike Bessenger 7:42 pm 13 Jul 09

An Action Bus drivers get punched several times in the face today in the city over an arguement about fares. The driver didn’t put the prices up so it was uncalled for, hopefully the fukwit gets charged.

Lilli 1:00 pm 07 Jul 09

I feel a tad guilty about this – but the newsagent I bought my 10 ride adult bus ticket from yesterday evening only charged me $22.

Clearly they didn’t get the memo about fares going up either..

DanRayner 9:12 am 07 Jul 09

A price hike wouldn’t be so bad if the busses were regular, convenient and ran on time….

Ausmerican 7:04 am 07 Jul 09

I catch the bus every workday and I never saw the price change advertised. I’m not too upset about it as I buy 10-ride passes and they have only gone up by $2.50 a pass, but I still think it should have been better advertised. The first I heard about it was on July 1 when the person in front of me only coughed up $3 for the fare and got told off by the driver.

Since reading this I have started looking for notices about the price change and still haven’t seen anything specific, just the new (tiny) stickers describing all the fare prices. But if you catch a bus every day and know how much it costs, why would you read those signs? You don’t need to read the price board every day if you already know the fare, so I’m not surprised so many people got caught out.

I catch the 56 and the 80 every day (1.5 hour trip in to work, 2 hours back – apparently Action believe peak commuter times finish at 6pm) and did not see notices on either of those buses. Did see the large A4 sheet announcing new timetables in May though. Couldn’t they have put up a large A4 saying “price changes effective July 1, see site for details”?

Also, if they were going to implement zoning, they could go the way of the MTA in New York City (I lived there for a while so it’s the only familiar example I can use) and implement a monetary MetroCard that actually has a cash balance on it, rather than a set amount of rides. The cards are good for 2 years and can be recharged with whatever balance you want (in multiples of $2, since that’s the average fare price). Every time you swipe the card – whether in a subway, train, bus – it will take $2 off the balance. If they could devise clever enough technology in their ticket machines, it’s possible that buses operating on routes that go between zones could charge slightly more whereas buses operating on routes within a zone charge less. I’m just theorizing here because I’m no expert on the public transport system.

Jim Jones 9:23 am 06 Jul 09

dvaey said :

#106, dommie, how is it any safer to ride on a bus possibly through an interchange, then getting off and still having to walk from a bus stop, than it is to walk from school? Maybe ‘things have changed’ but im sure any bus driver could tell you of bad situations even onboard a bus.

That being said, we should deal with the problem, not put a bandaid over it. Dont simply put some children on the bus to make them safe, remove whatever is making them unsafe in the first place then let the kids walk to school again.
When I walked to school in the old days, our biggest worry was the big wattle tree at the end of the street we were allergic to.

The entire ‘things have changed’ line is complete bollocks anyway. It’s not as if the world was a utopian paradise until 5-10 years ago when a giant army of evil child abductors were loosed upon the world to wreak havoc upon the earth. Media driven panics are mostly to blame for people cotton-wooling their children.

When I walked to school, the biggest danger was that bastard magpie that took a chunk out of my head. Some kids were invited to get into a van, but they had enough street smarts to tell the strangers to ‘get nicked’.

Granny 2:14 am 06 Jul 09

Interesting walk for the kids at Tharwa, Hall etc.

dvaey 1:44 am 06 Jul 09

#106, dommie, how is it any safer to ride on a bus possibly through an interchange, then getting off and still having to walk from a bus stop, than it is to walk from school? Maybe ‘things have changed’ but im sure any bus driver could tell you of bad situations even onboard a bus.

That being said, we should deal with the problem, not put a bandaid over it. Dont simply put some children on the bus to make them safe, remove whatever is making them unsafe in the first place then let the kids walk to school again.
When I walked to school in the old days, our biggest worry was the big wattle tree at the end of the street we were allergic to.

PsydFX 12:04 am 06 Jul 09

I was just looking into the zoning system we used to have, and I am glad it’s gone.
The cash fare for a multizone trip was $4.40 – and that was 9 years ago.

TP 3000 6:49 pm 05 Jul 09

There seem to be a few complaints about a family having to buy 3/4 different tickets. Well what would people say to the idea of ACTION copying Perth, where they have a ticket called a “Family Rider” this is available all day on weekends & Friday afternoon. It costs $8.80 (same an adult daily). But upto 8 people can use the same ticket, with upto 2 adult paying passengers in that group.

But on the subject of section fares, Perth also has the system of 9 different zones that are depending on a radius from the CBD. Canberra could have 3/4 zones with Banks/Forde being zone 4 & Woden/Belconnen in zone 2. For those that want more information go to http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/TicketsandFares/GeneralFareInformation/tabid/111/Default.aspx

buyhercandy 2:32 pm 05 Jul 09

I think the only real solution would be to introduce a sector-based system, like what they have in Sydney. Paying $3.80 (or $2.something if using a Faresaver10) isn’t so bad if you’re going from Tuggeranong to Belconnen, but as most people have said, it’s way too much to travel for a trip from Lyneham into the City, or from the City to Manuka, tec.

dommie 8:32 pm 04 Jul 09

I find the argument post #104 uninformed. There has been a very bad spate of attempted child abductions in and around Tuggeranong schools this year. I too walked to school and caught the bus only when I had to but things change … so should the buses.

Granny 7:31 pm 04 Jul 09

Many children no longer have a school within walking or riding distance, monomania, and in many cases this was not the parents’ choice.

monomania 5:29 pm 04 Jul 09

Anna Key said :

I’m a casual user of Action and find the service good and good enough value for how often I need it. But Canberra is not a public transport friendly town, not helped by how some seem to over complicate their lives eg I live in Chisholm, send the kids to school in Weston and work in Manuka but Action doesn’t have a bus that meets my needs!!!!!

However, unlike Anna Key, a lot of people are asking the community to pay for choices they make. For instance, why should the community pay for the extra buses required to sent children all over Canberra to schools of their choice. Private Schools, private buses. Peak hour full fares when kids should be walking or riding to their local schools. Choice yes, but not subsidised by the bus system.

fabforty 1:03 pm 04 Jul 09

If this excessive rise in ticket prices meant ACTION were going to vastly improve their service, then I might be OK with it. Thing is, I know they wont.

ML-585 12:14 pm 04 Jul 09

astrojax said :

an example is getting from dickson to forrest recently (no driving as i was injured and couldn’t see yet); after a ten minute stroll to the bus, the no. 2 roams through hackett, ainslie, civic and parkes before it gets you to the press club some 50 mins later. if i coulda driven i’d have been there in ten to fifteen mins. then i had to get home.

You can’t complain about how long it took when you caught the longest bus route. There are plenty of other, quicker, options from Dickson. Route 6 would be quicker from Dickson and it has a stop stop outside the press club (only goes hourly though), route 7 and 39 get to City quickly and then you could transfer to a 2 or 3.

PsydFX 11:52 am 04 Jul 09

astrojax said :

PsydFX said :

Of course an indirect route is going to take longer, especially when there are bus stops to take into account.

How would you make that trip more efficient?

by vastly increasing the number of buses, for one…

A quick search shows that a number of busses travel from Dickson to Civic, from there you can then catch a number of busses that travel to National Circuit. Sure you may have to catch 2 busses, but it’s not going to cost any extra, and it may even have been quicker for you.

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