A Better Public Transport Fare System

Since 1 October 2008, the Public Transport Council has introduced changes to the system of calculating fares for public transport such as buses and trains. Also known as ‘distance-based throughfares’, the fares will be calculated based on the distance travelled. Commuters can then choose the route which allows them to reach their destination with flexibility, based on shortest travelling time, or minimum walking distance. Also, the transfer rebates have increased. Soon, in the coming months, this will be in full effect, where the fare for the transfer journey would be comparable to that of a direct journey.

Well, it appears to me that the ‘better and fairer’ fare system does not benefit students much. Even though I have to agree that 44 cents per trip is really subsidised, down from 45 cents before 1 April this year, it would be great if the price would be the same up to 3 transfers. I have realised that some students would rather walk a longer distance just to save the additional 34 cents of transfer. Even though the 34 cents seems small, it would cost more than $100 per year! If the price was increased to 60 cents per trip, similar to the new system of calculating fares for adults, those who require transfer journeys would be able to benefit.

Since they are able to give adults a ‘better and fairer’ public transport fare system, why not allow students to enjoy a similar version as well? After all, the aim is to encourage commuters to have flexibility in deciding the best route to take to reach their destination.