Monday, December 15, 2008

Melburnians fare badly when paying for public transport - TheAge

MELBOURNE'S public transport is again the country's most expensive, after the Brumby Government announced the biggest price increase in fares in five years.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky confirmed on Friday that train, tram and bus fares will jump by 5 per cent from January 1.

With tickets up by as much as $2.20 (for a zone one and two weekly ticket), the Public Transport Users Association has compared Melbourne's fares with other Australian cities.

Melbourne fared badly, with the price of a ticket far higher in all but two cases.

Melbourne is the most expensive city for all journeys, except short trips in Adelaide, and for trips longer than 40 kilometres, since the Government abolished zone three for the outer suburbs last year.

"In extreme cases, Melbourne costs 50 per cent more than some cities," said Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen.

For a 20-kilometre single trip in Melbourne — for example, from Clayton to Flinders Street — passengers will from next year pay $5.80 (a rise of 30 cents). For a trip of the same length in Brisbane, passengers pay $3.80.

Ms Kosky, defending last week's price rise, said it was not true that Melbourne had the country's most expensive tickets.

But the PTUA said the figures spoke for themselves.

"The bulk of commuters are paying more per kilometre than passengers anywhere in Australia," Mr Bowen said.

The 5 per cent fare increase that will hit passengers next year is separate from another two increases with which they will be slugged in 2012 and 2013.

Those rises will help to finance the state's $38 billion Victorian transport statement...

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