Labor's fare hike hits commuters

South-East Queensland commuters’ New Year celebrations were dampened today as the Bligh government hiked public transport fares by 15 per cent to be among the most expensive worldwide.

Shadow Minister for Transport Scott Emerson said commuters preparing to return to work tomorrow will face massive hikes in train, bus and ferry fares.

“Brisbane is now the third most expensive city in the world for public transport. Only London and Oslo is dearer,” Mr Emerson said.

“No wonder people are turning away from public transport – with trips on buses and ferries plummeting by 700,000 from July to November last year.

“Mismanagement, waste and blunders by this tired, inept 20 year Labor government are driving passengers away from public transport, and today’s fare increases will only worsen the hip pocket pain,” Mr Emerson said.

“Labor is making public transport users pay for its record $85 billion debt and the $100 million a week interest bill to service the debt. This is the third increase in three years.

Mr Emerson said zone 1 single paper tickets would increase from $3.90 to $4.50, while adult go card zone 1 fares would jump 40 cents to $3.05, and the off peak zone 1 charge goes up from $2.26 to $2.44.

“What’s worse, pensioners and concession holders won’t escape the financial hurt with single paper tickets going up 30 cents, zone 1 go cards up 23 cents, and off peak go card travel now $1.22.

“The State Government’s own Translink Tracker has shown patronage dropped by more than two million compared to the same time last year. Today’s price hikes could see commuter numbers plummet further.

“After the 2009 state election, Labor announced its plan to double the cost of fares and promised services would improve. For commuters forced to stand for the most part of their journey from Nambour to Brisbane, it was another cynical Labor hollow promise.

“It’s no wonder complaints increasing, according to the State Government’s own figures.

“The Bligh government’s cost of living increases are only going to get worse – with another two increases of 15 percent planned for the next two years. These cost of living increases are on top of Labor’s electricity and water bills that have skyrocketed 60-70% in since 2006.

“An LNP government will give real cost of living relief to commuters by delivering free go card trips after nine weekly journeys – a welcome return to a genuine weekly ticket discount.

“It’s time for change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track,” said Mr Emerson.

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