Queensland will trial 50 cent public transport trips and this is great news

Photo by Tony Moore: Brisbane ’s electric bus and other forms of public transport down to just 50 cents

Contributed by Adam Carlton

Australia should take not of Queensland’s trail for 50 cent public transport fare regardless of the length of the trip. Given the reality of the rising cost of living, the high cost of transport is a reality deserving serious attention.

Critics may call this grandstanding by a state government facing an election. Even if there is some truth to the suggestion, it remains that the move deserves public support. The 6-month trial will take effect on 5 August.

The expectation is that this will lead to a surge in numbers using public transport as their preferred mode of transport. If this is the result, it will provide the incentive to bring improvements to the system, something that will be of benefit to commuters, good for businesses depending on customers coming in, and provide more disposable income for those feeling the pinch in these difficult times.

Queensland’s Premier Steven Miles holding up a 50-cent coin for photo opportunity about the fair trial

Another great benefit is that it will contribute to lowering the use of fossil fuel burning vehicles, and thereby lower Australia’s carbon footprint. Imagine our cities with a lot less smog and clean air to breath. Governments that pay attention to lowering the cost of transport through making the public transport option a much cheaper alternative will win some credibility, in an area where they currently have little. It’s a political plus for them.

Campaigners have been pushing for free public transport for years. The Greens support it, and the state government has now taken a step in this direction.

An ambitious public transport system that is at least cheap for commuters is an effective way to enter an era of urban planning that is for people rather than for quick profit for a few. It facilitates the emergence of hubs designed to meet work, shopping, and cultural needs, and can help to develop communities.

The high price of petrol has already driven more people to use trains, buses, and trams. But the cost is still at a level where far too many have to think twice before taking the trip, and this is a significant cause for growing isolation of being locked up in your home, and the inability for many to properly engage in the wider community and enjoy those other experiences that are part of a good quality of life.

These are the reasons why Queensland’s 50 cent fare trial is so important for the whole of Australia. It should be treated as a test case, to help inform the nation on how to best roll this out across all states.

Up till now, our public transport networks have been far too ad hoc, playing catchup and failing to meet future needs. The quality is far behind other similar world cities. Regional and intercity systems are a joke.

Sufficient investment by government is the key to upgrading these systems. The point is that this is not going to happen unless they are made an attractive to the traveller. This won’t happen without including a combination of reliability, efficiency, and low cost.

1 Comment on "Queensland will trial 50 cent public transport trips and this is great news"

  1. Ivor Morgan | 27 May 2024 at 3:24 pm | Reply

    not for Far North Queensland is it?

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