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    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Slashed fares will fight congestion

    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    Slashed fares will fight congestion

    Premier Anna Bligh has announced a congestion busting discounted public transport fare scheme to slash the price of travel for South East Queenslanders.

    Under the new fare structure all go card trips will receive a minimum 20% discount and regular users will receive up to 67.5% on some trips from August 4.

    The Premier and Transport Minister John Mickel said the new fare structure will surpass Brisbane’s ‘ten trip saver’ scheme extending frequent travel discounts throughout the entire go-card region.

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

    “This measure will ease the financial pressure on families who are facing increasing petrol prices.

    “It will also encourage more people to use public transport - especially people who have a longer commute - taking cars off the road and reducing congestion in our cities.”

    Under the new fare structure there will be at least a 20% discount on every go card trip, with the discount rising to a 35% for longer trips.

    If a commuter makes more than ten trips between Monday and Sunday an additional discount of 50% will be subtracted from the price of further travel within the seven day period.

    That means commuters could see some fares discounted by a total of 67.5% (consisting of an initial 35% discount followed by the 50% discount).

    "Nearly 70,000 go cards are now being used by commuters since the first stage of the roll out on 29 January this year," said the Premier.

    "This new fare scheme represents the next stage of that roll out. We are now looking to expand go card's appeal to more commuters.

    “The go card is an important tool in my government’s battle against congestion. We are the only State in Australia to have progressed this far and this fare structure increases our lead on the rest of the pack.”

    Minister Mickel said the new fare structure meant more long distance commuters would switch to the card.

    “These discounts will be especially welcome as they coincide with the annual fare increase which will see base prices rise an average of 3.9% in line with CPI,” he said.

    "Users of the go card who travel 11 zones will receive a 25% discount on all travel. Those who travel 12 zones will receive a 30% discount and those who travel 13 zones or more will receive a 35% discount," he said.

    "This structure will bring fares for long distance go card users into line with those discounts offered on weekly and monthly tickets.

    “That means that public transport users travelling to the city from places like Nambour, Landsborough, Robina, Nerang and Gatton could receive a discount of up to 67.5% under the frequent user scheme.

    “For example the frequent user discount has the potential to reduce the fare from Gympie to Brisbane from $18.80 to just $6.11.

    "That's a huge saving and provides a real incentive for frequent public transport use, especially for those passengers travelling longer distances.”

    There are now more than 70,000 go cards in circulation, more than $7 million has been loaded onto cards by users and more than 2.4 million journeys have been taken on the go card since it was introduced.

    Minister Mickel said the annual fare increase across the TransLink network would be 3.9% rounded up to the nearest 10 cents, or in line with CPI, despite the significant increases in operating costs.

    "Increases in fuel costs and wage pressures from a very tight labour market are expected to lead to operating costs increasing by significantly more than general inflation over the next twelve months" he said.

    “But we have fought hard to keep the annual price rise in line with CPI because we believe affordable public transport is an essential to beating congestion.”

    Premiers (07) 32244500