The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed changes to the fare system taking place this Sunday, March 4th.
PTUA President Daniel Bowen said that the removal of zone 3 represented a big price cut for city commuters coming in from the outer-most suburbs, and the cuts to V/Line fares would also be welcomed by regional travellers.
Mr Bowen said that rationalisation of bus fares was also a plus. “A fare structure that is consistent and simple to understand is an essential part of the public transport system. Making Metcards valid on the Nightrider buses is a big boost”, he said.
While the PTUA supports removing the National Bus-only section fares for consistency and simplicity reasons, the move does represent a price rise for some users. “Many fares remain too high, and we’d like to see improvements so National Bus ticket users would be no worse off. But for now we’d encourage those users to look at the alternatives available, including 10 x 2 hour tickets and Weeklies and Monthlies, which provide substantial discounts.”
Mr Bowen said that the government needed to keep working to make public transport fares more competitive with car travel. “The government should continue to look at how the zone system can be improved, by enlarging the zone boundary overlap, and by aligning zone 1 fares with zone 2, both measures which would help make more trips cheaper.
“But in the mean time, the changes introduced this month are very welcome, and should help get more people onto public transport”, concluded Mr Bowen.