The Palaszczuk Government will accept the independent Fare Review Taskforce recommendation to scrap the wasteful ‘9 and free’ scheme and replace it with ‘8 and 50’ benefit so more public transport users ultimately save across the entire network.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said 85 per cent of public transport users never qualified for the savings loophole and subsidised free travel for 15 percent of users at a cost of more than $100 million since it was introduced.
“The ‘9 and Free’ scheme only encouraged public transport users to game the system, it unfortunately failed to successfully pass on savings to a majority of regular public transport users or raise patronage levels,” he said.
“In fact since ‘9 and Free’ was introduced patronage fell by more than 2 million trips.
“This new incentive will broaden the discount so it applies to more people and benefits the vast majority of passengers on public transport.
“By spreading the savings more fairly, more Queenslanders will have an incentive to use public transport.”
Mr Hinchliffe said instead of free travel after nine paid journeys, public transport users will receive a 50 percent discount on fares after eight paid journeys during a week.
“The reality is 85 percent of users were not even qualifying for free travel, meaning they never received a benefit,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“By lowering the fare price and offering half price fares, more than 93 percent of public transport users will pay less.”