Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Rail Users Less Than Impressed with Free Bonustrips; They Want Cheaper Fares as Another 15% Increase Looms

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Rail Users Less Than Impressed with Free Bonustrips; They Want Cheaper Fares as Another 15% Increase Looms

Article excerpt

Byline: ZANE JACKSON zane.jackson@qt.com.au

TRIP FACTS

Under the changes, if you travel to and from work using a Go Card during the week, you get free weekend travel.

Off-peak discount for Go Card will increase from 15% to 20% on all journeys between 9am and 3.30pm, after 7pm, and on weekends and public holidays.

IPSWICH commuters say they would prefer to see annual fare increases kept low instead of a new Go Card incentive that gives regular uses bonus trips.

The State Government announced a plan where rail and bus users who make 10 journeys during a week with a Go Card can take any further trips for free.

For example, an Ipswich resident that makes a return train trip to work every from Monday to Friday can travel free on the weekend to any destination.

The move was spruiked by the State Government as a win for regular public transport users, and commuter groups also backed the changes.

But it is due to begin on January 2 next year, the same day public ticket prices rise by 15%.

Commuters who spoke to The Queensland Times yesterday said they'd prefer fare prices were kept lower instead of having the bonus journeys.

Bundamba resident Courtney Masters, 20, said the 15% increase in tickets each year until 2014 would scare people off regularly using public transport.

C[pounds sterling]At the moment, it already costs so much to travel,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]It makes it hard to travel as much as you would like to on train.

C[pounds sterling]I know some people who don't use public transport already because it is getting so expensive.C[yen]

Coalfalls resident Kathy Jago said she did not think many people would qualify for the bonus trips.

C[pounds sterling]I don't know if that's going to cover a lot of people,C[yen] she said.

Robert Dow, from commuter lobby group Rail Back on Track, said while not everyone would be happy with the changes, it is now possible to reduce one's travel costs by being smart and using the incentives for maximum benefit. …

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