Public transport fares in South East Queensland will rise today, including massive rises in the cost of paper tickets as the Government attempts to force people to use the electronic Go Cards.
A weekly two zone paper ticket will rise from $23.20 to $31.20, a rise of eight dollars or thirty-four percent, while the Go Card offers no weekly option. For a two-zone ticket, a Go Card user who takes more than fourteen trips a week will be worse off under the new fares than if they used a weekly ticket. Paper weekly and monthly tickets will be completely abolished by the end of 2010.
The Rail Back On Track lobby group says the Government should make monthly tickets available on the Go Card, and that community education for new Go Card users needs to be stepped up. Rail Back on Track has produced a survival guide for new users forced to use the Go Card, available at http://backontrack.org
The Government has said it will issue 400 000 free go cards for new users with $10 credit on them. There are still no concession prices for people on unemployment benefits in Queensland.