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Free Buses to get Tasmanians Moving


Vica Bayley MP

Vica Bayley MP  -  Sunday, 3 September 2023

Tags: Metro Tasmania

In the wake of the successful 2022 trial of free public transport, the Greens will this week table a Bill in parliament that will lock in cost-free fares for all journeys on Metro busses into the future.
 
The April 2022 trial, pitched as providing ‘cost of living relief’, was a raging success with real financial relief to commuters, increased bus usage and a decline in anti-social behaviour.
 
This trial was a positive move by the Liberal government and demonstrated a justification for long-term reform of ticketing on public transport in Tasmania.
 
Since the trial was ended, things have clearly regressed with escalating anti-social behaviour, an ineffective introduction of security guards, driver shortages and the cancellation of services, all significantly affected by systemic underfunding of Metro by the Government.
 
The Tasmanian Greens have an alternate vision for public transport in Tasmania that can lead to increased usage, better behaviour and long-term relief for passengers in the face of ever-increasing cost of living hikes.
 
With proper Government funding, the cost of travel can be free for passengers and drivers can receive the wages and conditions they deserve. Paying drivers properly will help with driver recruitment and retention.
 
We will introduce a Bill for permanent, free bus travel across the Metro system.
 
A functional public transport service is crucial for a healthy, vibrant community.
 
By making Metro travel free we can remove a financial barrier from low income Tasmanians suffering under skyrocketing costs of living.
 
Tasmanians can save money on servicing and refuelling their vehicles – putting that money towards their grocery bill, their rent or their mortgage.
 
Increasing bus patronage will remove cars from the road, reducing both congestion and vehicle emissions.
 
Overseas trial programs have proven successful, with several now a permanent fixture through Europe.
 
The Greens want to get Tasmanians moving on a modern, fit for purpose public transport system that we can all be proud of and makes a statement about both sustainability and community support.