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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever considered how much it would cost to make PT free? I assume the boarding times would be much quicker, except the patronage would skyrocket. See today the bus driver of our BT school bus just said to get on and didn't take fares, and it made me think that that was actually a smart move as we would still have to pay for a ticket as noone from school lives in the city, and the 50 odd people who take the first bus would get on quicker. According to some of the QLD Gov. PT documents, the annual patronage for the 2007-2008 financial year is expected to be 170 million... so guessing that the average fare is lets say $3.50? Thats $595mil a year to make it free. Could the gov afford that? What would the patronage levels jump to? Or could it create a system where suddenly far too many people are taking PT and the whole system just collapses?

My 2 cents.

EDIT:
Another thought, what if it was just free on weekends and early morning/late at night? So lets say its free from 8pm onwards and before 6am? Then we could also have free PT days like on special occasions etc.?
 

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I'm all for paying for PT. Infact I'd rather they charged more and improved the quality of their service than go in the other direction.
 

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One thing with free travel is that they might attract undesirable people who will just hang around on public transport and will be harder to get rid of.

For example, even though train travel in Melbourne is free before 7am, passengers are still required to carry a ticket, which is available free from stations.

Route 401 here also takes a different approach to the efficiency issue where drivers do not sell tickets, instead requiring everyone to pre-purchase a ticket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True I didn't think about the undesirables. People could just get on a train and ride it all day and smoke drugs... hmm
 

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Interesting. But what would the aim of free public transport be? Increase patronage? Unlikely, as public transport is already cheaper than private transport. People that don't use PT are not doing so because it's too expensive.
 

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People should pay for PT but I'm all for abolishing zoning systems that make PT more expensive to those who live in the outer suburbs. It seems silly to ask people who most likely have lower incomes to pay more for tickets than those who more likely with higher incomes in the inner city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PT could be free for pensioners?
 

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Sydney: World's best city
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In Sydney we have the $2.50 Pensioner tickets which are very popular with senior citizens and covers Sydney and surrounding regions.

In NSW, students living more than 2km from their school can travel for free on trips between home and school on school days and are issued with special passes which must be presented to the driver or inserted into the relevant machine/s.
 

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I've often wondered about this. There may come a time when free public transport is cheaper than the cost of endless new roads, freeways, tunnels etc., especially in fast-growing cities or where land is at a premium.

I know the city of Hasselt, in Belgium, has free public transport - but I don't know the details of how it's subsidized, etc.
 

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Newcastle Buses have a daytime (730am-6pm iirc) fare free zone in the CBD, Newcastle East and Newcastle West, presumably to help tourists move around the very elongated CBD precinct.
 

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I've only experienced free PT when there was Car Free Day in Brussels a couple of times.

Anyway if you're in suburbia you can take the train for free, provided you're going from a non-turnstile station to another one.
 

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derp
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There's some interesting thoughts and discussion here about free public transport.
 

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Keep in Mind Melbourne has the free city circle tram to shuttle people around the city and Brisbane has a shuttle bus service looping around it's CBD as well.
 

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People should pay for PT but I'm all for abolishing zoning systems that make PT more expensive to those who live in the outer suburbs. It seems silly to ask people who most likely have lower incomes to pay more for tickets than those who more likely with higher incomes in the inner city.
This is bad. People should pay for the distance they travel. If you cant afford to come to the city... dont. Get a job closer to where you live.

I'm all for paying for PT. Infact I'd rather they charged more and improved the quality of their service than go in the other direction.
Ditto
 

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This is bad. People should pay for the distance they travel. If you cant afford to come to the city... dont. Get a job closer to where you live.
People don't pay the distance they travel with the zoning system in Melbourne since there's only two zones. But yeah I totally agree man, bogans and povos should just stay in the outer suburbs and not ruin the trendy inner city for those of us who are better and can afford it.
 

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PT is far too expensive in Australia.

A 10 journey ticket using the five metro lines in my city costs $9.85!!
 

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This is bad. People should pay for the distance they travel. If you cant afford to come to the city... dont. Get a job closer to where you live.
Exactly, I travel from Doncaster to Kew for school which is 15-20kms. Why should I pay as much as someone traveling twice as far.

A way to increase patronage imo would be to decrease fines. $162 for feet on the seat? and not carrying a concession card (even if someone is in school uniform and has a school card)?, these are obviously worse crimes then breaking the speed limit. The Nazi inspectors are putting thousands of people off catching public transport (particularly trains).
 

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It cost's me $1.70 to get to and from school everyday (0.85c oneway) or 7.45 for a weekly ticket, $1.00 to get to the city, and 1.50 to get to Stockland/Shopping Fair, so public transport is pretty cheap in Rocky.
 
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