• In 41 days

[QLD] All Fares $0.50 on Translink SEQ Public Transport Network (Bus, Train, CityCat/Ferry, G Link Tram) @ Translink


50c fares: Qld’s public transport fees slashed, no matter how far you travel.

Public transport fares will be slashed to an unbelievably low price, no matter how far you travel, under a major pre-election trial aimed at easing gridlock and easing cost-of-living pressures.

Update 01/06/2024:

Steven Miles announced Airtrain fares will be slashed by 50% for six months from the same date.

Mod: Add started date, end date, linked to public source.

Steven Miles

We're reducing the cost of all Translink public transport services for six months.

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  • Can't seem to find it reported anywhere else. Why 50c, might as well be free at that point.

    • +40

      QLD Premier good enough source for you?

      • +5

        That'll do. Thanks.

    • +56

      50 cents adds up to millions.. 0 adds up to 0.

      • +92

        50c is probably for tracking users and total numbers.

        • +1

          interesting, could be. though you can do that with bluetooth beacons these days

          • +3

            @iSamurai: @ 50c the user pays you to collect the data.

          • +3


            interesting, could be. though you can do that with bluetooth beacons these days

            It would cost them a lot to negate the alarmist news reports when people start accusing BCC of tracking individuals.

        • +3

          100% yes. That's how they analyse the usefulness of services. Add or remove more services based on patronage.

        • +6

          This would exactly be the reason. Then in 6 months they can say bus travel increased x% due to our initiative.

        • +6

          Yes this data is so valuable to find out where and when demand is.

          This data is used for forecasting and planning of new services.

        • +1

          It's probably to pay the GoCard company.

        • +1

          I don't know why people are worried about tracking users and total numbers as people are tracked now especially where they get off and got on.

        • Yes good thought, Measuring the potential for lower fare impact. Get a baseline.

      • +1

        Millions is nothing in the context of hundreds of billions

        • +4

          and yet the government is still refusing to give me a free $1,000,000

          • @furyou: Which Government and why the figure of $1,000?

    • +31

      50c stops the homeless from living on public transport
      (in some northern US cities the homeless 'travel' at night because the buses are heated).

      • +12

        I don't think 50c would be enough to stop them if they wanted to ride. The big issue our public transport shuts down overnight night so they get kicked out into the cold anyway. They'd be better finding somewhere else earlier.

      • +3

        They should have set it to $1. Nominally, it makes no difference in the user, maybe it is even easier to market or sell.

        • Also getting rid of cash, so could have made it 50.0025 if that's what would make thier budget

      • There's a known train that leaves Sydney late at night that a lot of homeless catch for the same reason. Don't remember the details but they get 5 or 6 hours on the return journey. Plus safety in numbers.

        • Probably the Newcastle route, 3.5 hour one way.

          • +1

            @carrawa: It is. …Interesting… to ride on. Most are calm and sleeping, some are the exact opposite. Toilet vandalised to the point it's useless.

    • +9

      It's probably around proving usage numbers for the trial. By setting the fare at a low number they can see usage before and after in the same system and justify the change.

      It also gives them the ability to try and calculate the optimum price vs usage level point as public transport is way too expensive at present. On a 5 day a week commute a $5k motor bike on a 6% loan (money from my mortgage offset) is neutral cost with catching a bus to the city. A $3k ebike is break even in 2 years.

      • and to provide a distraction in the media about the 4.2% electricity price rise that was just approved

      • +1

        But it might also gives wrong data. I am sure there would be people like me who plan to travel to places where they don't normally go because of this low fare.

        • +3

          Yep that's part of the data modelling problem. Cheap travel doesn't just displace cars, it displaces other ones (walking, bikes, motorcycles, ebikes/scooters) and it encourages additional travel, specifically travel to areas that are already congested, mainly cbds.

          While this change can be modelled by comparing other data sources (fuel excise, pedestrian congestion in the cbd etc) the cynic in me knows that politicians don't care about the accuracy of data. They care about data that tells the story they want to tell.

          I would guarantee they model the success of this as if every extea person on a bus would have done the same journey on their own in dual cab ute if fares hadn't been dropped.

        • +1

          more travel is still a good thing though. if people are getting out and about and using public spaces, enjoying cafes and bars etc when they would usually just binge-watch a tv show and guzzle a 6-pack, then that is a plus.

          The biggest unintended side-effect risk of this policy is that they don't foresee increased peak demand (saving $80/week on transport more than offsets buying a coffee AND lunch every single day) and chaos ensues, with people an hour late to work and hating public transport due to the shitty experience. Then they finally get around to putting on more peak services (if they even can with current infrastructure assets) and by then it's too little too late. I really foresee this becoming an off-peak only thing for that reason…

      • +17

        Or make people who rent escooters around the city to take public transport. Which I am totally okay with.

        • +3

          The city circle bus is already free

          • @Tleyx: Can't get to the valley with that though or across the river. This opens up far more options.

            • @NigelTufnel: I thought when you said around city i thought you meant the suburb of brisbane city

              • @Tleyx: I was more referring to the city suburbs that people tend to use escooters to get around in. The sort of Valley - South bank, Milton - Gabba area.

                • @NigelTufnel: I don't use escooters and ebikes to get around city suburbs I use mostly buses

                • @NigelTufnel: Going to be very expensive to ride a rental scooter that far. Its better for short distance .

                  Way cheaper to catch bus even before discount

                  • @Tleyx: Never actually used them, so have no idea how much they are, but they seem popular and I've seen them down at Auchenflower, so i figure they get there somehow…
                    And it seems they offer weekly/monthly passes which would make them preferable over the bus. But if all PT is only 50c hard to justify that subscription…

                    • @NigelTufnel: I use them fairly frequently but still find the bus cheaper a lot of the time. Uber is cheaper for some trips.

                      If you ride like a lunatic it might be cheaper but the hospital visits might balance the costs out

      • +27

        On the flip side, it will make me seriously consider taking PT to work rather than driving, easing congestion on roads.

        • +5

          I drive to the city for work and am going to start using the bus instead now. I pay $18 for parking and bus was about $9 return so wasn't quite enough of a difference to bother with the slower journey, wait times, longer walk to bus stops, other PT users, etc. but now I'm willing to try it.

      • -4

        I don't understand why people downvoting my comment here. Do they think having a more overcrowded system with many passengers who suppose to just walk to their destination is a good thing?

        • +1

          I don't think there are many how walk because they can't afford the bus. I'll come back and apologise it it's walkers rather than drivers who overcrowd the system.

          Additionally, the best thing that could happen to our public transport system is to be overcrowded, so that we need to upgrade infrastructure. Australian public transport is in the dark ages. How good will it be when buses run continually rather than hourly?

          • @SlickMick: It's not about whether people can afford the fare.

            When it's free, people will prefer to use it even if it does save any travel time compare to walking.

            This is also one of the critiques of free city tram zone. Many people take those trams anyways because they don't cost anything, whereas it takes the same amount of time if they walk to their destination instead.

            50c is better than free because it would stop those people from taking the PT for no reasons. Although I think 50c is a bit too cheap that it may not stop all of those people.

            • @gaosong2101: I understand your point, I just believe there are few that see it your way.

              I walk when I can because I want to walk. Cheap or free public transport wouldn't affect my decision any more than the car sitting in my garage.
              They'd have to pay me to take public transport when I can walk, and I don't see that happening.

      • +4

        I'm somebody who walks everywhere. I'm not going to start taking public transport if I can walk it, it's the only decent exercise I get and is something I've been doing for decades, and I suspect most other people who walk in this world made for car travel are similar.

        There are very, very few of us anyway. I've never once seen another person carrying their groceries home on foot since moving out of student areas years ago. Years of regular walking and not a single other person while roads are packed with cars.

    • So that they can impose fines on people w/o tickets.
      Jokes apart, its the best way to find how many people travelled/used the service so that the effectiveness of the trial can be evaluated.

    • +8

      That is free is not valued.

      • +1

        Luxemburg has free public transport

        Thay aside that platitude is an obvious nonsese, I love swmming in the ocean and value the experience immensely. Ask any surfer what they think of being charged to surf

    • +5

      A small price is very different to no price. It will make sure that people still use the service with intent for the most part, rather than just for the hell of it which would overcrowd it quickly. It's a studied phenomenon. The cost to administer a small price is probably more expensive than making it free, but still cheaper than the cost of overcrowding.

      • +1

        Correct! Fare collection and enforcement costs more than what is earned. Ads largely pay for public transportation. Fares are there as a mechanism to control attendance. Free would swamp and cripple the network, $0.50 will be interesting

    • +1

      So they can track passenger numbers more reliably

    • Even those Translink are known for giving out incorrect information especially 131230, hopefully the following is correct?


    • +1

      Why 50c, might as well be free at that point.

      It will only be for 6 months so it continues the good old habit/routine of swapping your GoCard (ticket?) before boarding.
      Totally free will mean do nothing … for six month only … and bad habits are hard to fix later.

      I thoroughly and wholeheartedly applaud and commend this move.
      Positive in all aspects.
      Just brilliant.

      • +10

        Council decides that. This is state govt.

    • +5

      You have no idea. Sorry mate but there is a good reason it's not totally free

    • +1

      Wow. A fantastic announcement but some can't take good news from someone they don't support. The huge flaw with Australian politics.

      • +1

        I vote for them. But they are just buying votes with this. In 6 months they will go back to full price and we will be back where we started. And they will probably increase in price.

        • I can imagine trains, buses and platforms being overcrowded and only ozbargainers would end up using PT.

          What they need to do is an enormous infrastructure upgrade, then introduce the cheap fares to ensure it's used. And keep it cheap enough so only a spendthrift would drive into a city.

        • But of course the opposition won't be buying votes if they come out with a similar fare reduction?

          • +2

            @kwv42: Both buying votes. Temporary reductions is buying votes. Temporary cash given us is buying votes.

            Putting band aids on things instead of fixing the problem is all they do.

            I would much rather it be 50% cheaper forever than 50cents for 6 months.

            • @Fergy1987: No matter which parties and candidates are running, promises are buying votes

  • +4

    That's insane i mean it is awesome but regardless of distance? I wonder how long this will last

    • +32

      Election is 26 October 2024. Do the maths.

    • +6

      From August 5 for 6 months he said on twitter x

    • +12

      fares only pay a small proportion of the costs anyway. They are just taking more of a loss.

    • +1

      Until they get some detailed economic analysis which says that the cost to us as taxpayers wasn't worth it in the end, as has been discovered in numerous locations around the world that did something similar.


      A lot of people will still be driving during peak hour because of convenience factors. Perhaps Government would do better to invest in better town planning and improving public transport reliability and infrastructure?

      • A lot of people will still be driving during peak hour because of convenience factors.

        Maybe. But nothing beats free … or 50 cents for than matter.

        At today's costs, driving is not-too-bad-after-all but 50 cents is a real spanner thrown in the works.

        • But if it doubles your commute time or worse, then it's not so attractive to ditch the car…

          • @inherentchoice: Correct.

            But sometimes it is even shorter times.

            My "visits" to Costco, to only buy Hellmans' mayonnaise is faster by train than driving on the M1.
            Door to door that is.

            I couldn't believe it myself but clocks don't lie.

            • @LFO: And you'll be going to Costco off peak. But then also lugging your wholesale purchases and/or a cart for them. Literally bulk buys, being moved in bulk on public transport.

              • @inherentchoice: For this, my particular use of Costco, it limits to 1 (large!) jar of "Hellman's" mayonnaise. No bulk buys.
                For me, its works.

                By the way, I drive when planing more articles (muffins as an example), when traveling with someone else, when raining and, of course, when getting cheaper fuel.

                As I said, I agree with you that the inconveniences of public transport might/will cancel any savings but in some cases it does work. Like my use for mayonnaise. And I only use the train, no buses or other PT.

                • @LFO:

                  in some cases it does work

                  Yes, some. And it works for individuals. But I doubt this will have that much impact on overall traffic congestion during peak hours.

    • Interesting but that was for local government and they lost that election so promise is only moot.

  • +36

    Great. This may reduce the amount of single vehicle cars driving into the city during peak hour. It's smart. Reduce the traffic by 25% and all of a sudden you have road capacity for people who need their cars during the day

    • +4

      I guess it removes one WFH excuse if the premier is trying to boost the CBD.

      • +9

        The News Corp articles say the only exclusion is Airtrain. They even give example fares for Gold Coast (Robina) to Bowen Hills and Goodna to Central, neither of which are zone 1 or 2 services.

        • +4

          Airtrain is privately run. Hence the stupid fare for it.

        • +3

          Airtrain is the primary one that should be discounted. Gov gets thier cut elsewhere from people travelling, and it's the first experience tourists get when they visit. (First experience of Brisbane: gee the train is expensive.)

          AirTrain should run at a loss and get compensated by airport/ airlines/ tourism industry.

        • Yeah, unfortunately Airtrain is not included. Also mentioned here https://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/50-cent-fares

      • +4

        Examples are here which includes Gold Coast to Brisbane ($2,100 saving over 6 months). https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/100402

    • True, however its to reduce the traffic so the voter isnt reminded while sitting in a gridlocked highway while the campaign is on.

      Will the average Qld'er think its a vote winner?

      We'll know in 6 months

      • +3

        Until theyre cramped in standing room only carriages on the way home. I stopped taking the train because while it was lovely in the early mornings I still finish at 4pm most days and sitting in my car listening to podcasts in traffic was better than standing in the train for half an hour after a long day

        • how long in car dose take to get home at 4pm ?

          • @nikey2k27: Adds an extra 15-20 minutes usually but unlike standing for 30 minutes it doesn’t feel it, then again I start at 6am and with no traffic it’s often quicker than the train to drive since I park closer than the station so no added walk so total travel probably evens out time wise

      • Might win a few votes short term but long term it could prove a poor economic choice.

    • +2

      That might be true, but then people see the roads are a lot emptier and suddenly think "maybe I should drive" and then back to square one 😂

  • +14

    I am going to gc every week from now on.

    • +25

      It might be 50c but it's still the gold coast. Why do it too yourself?

    • +20

      I guess reading is not your strong point?

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