New year relief for public transport users
A TRAIN or bus fare that would normally cost Ipswich commuters more than $10 will be $1.90 cheaper next month.
The South East Queensland fare review will come into force in January 2017, slashing 23 public transport zones to eight with reduced fares through the system.
The cost of a paper train ticket from Ipswich to Brisbane will cost about $8.60 for an adult, $1.90 cheaper and $4.60 between Ipswich and Redbank, $1 less than the current fare.
The cuts could amount to savings of up to $1,300 for Ipswich residents who work in Brisbane and rely on trains for their daily commutes.
Additionally, commuters will be rewarded with a 50% discount if they take more than eight trips in a week.
At the launch of the reform in June, Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the fare cuts would cost the State $210 million in lost revenue over four years.
"This is the largest investment in public transport services in a decade since the rollout of the go card and integrated ticketing," he said.
"It builds on the recommendations from the taskforce to deliver fare reductions right across southeast Queensland."
The review does not quite amount to the task force recommendations which suggested a single zone fare to be reduced to $3.
Mr Hinchliffe said it would have come at a considerable cost without the necessary improvement to patronage.
Ipswich commuter Madelene Diego said she only used the train when she had to but the cuts were a positive move in the right direction.
"We came from Melbourne and the tram is getting more expensive so this is good news," she said.
Public transport advocator Michael Swifte said the cuts were not up to standard set by other capital cities especially for commuters traveling over multiple zones.
He said the group he runs, The Translink Ripoff, was pushing for concessions for unemployed people.
"We're not happy with the failure to implement the full terms of reference," he said.
"It may well provide some people with relief but we're not going to know until the zone boundaries actually kick in, until we know what they are."