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Public transport fares to rise in the south-east

SOUTH-east Queensland commuters will now be forking out that little bit extra due to an increase in public transport fares. 

The cost of train, ferry and bus tickets within the Translink network - from Coolangatta to Gympie and inland to Helidon - will rise by 7.5% today.

While the increase is half of what was planned under the former government, for long-distance commuters, including those who travel from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, the spike will mean up to $500 extra this year.

For Ipswich commuters travelling from zone 7, train fares will increase by about 50 cents per journey and cost $216 extra this year.

Nambour train passengers will fork out $1.06 more each trip, which will add up to about $457 extra in fares this year.

The modelling is based on 48 weeks of train trips twice daily, five days a week and takes into account Translink passengers receive their tenth journey free after nine trips in one week.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Jeff Addison said the fare hike did nothing to encourage people to use public transport.

"We are trying to encourage the use of transport but this increase is three or four times the rise of CPI (consumer price index) so how can this be encouraging to use public transport?" he said.

"Regarding the 7.5% increase rather than the full 15%, it's like breaking one leg instead of two legs."

Mr Addison said Rail Back on Track would like to see a review of fare prices in south east Queensland.

But a spokeswoman for Transport Minister Scott Emerson said the government was focused on improving the state's finances.

"We are committed to getting people back onto public transport after four straight years of declining patronage by improving affordability, reliability and frequency," she said.

"When compared to the scheduled hikes, the LNP policies will save a regular commuter travelling two zones about $314 a year or $1042 a year for a regular commuter from Palmwoods to Brisbane.

"While we would like to do more in terms of fares relief, our priority will be to improve the state's finances."

Topics:  public transport, rail back on track, scott emerson


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