Thursday, October 8, 2009

Perth's free public transport scheme a huge success

The Liberal-National Government’s introduction of free off-peak public transport for seniors and aged and disability pensioners has been a huge success.

Member for the South Metropolitan Region, the Hon. Nick Goiran said the outstanding success of the policy, introduced on April 4, and the smooth way in which it had been taken up by eligible commuters, had resulted in both the recipients of the scheme and general travelling public gaining immeasurable benefits.

“Free public transport represents a social good, by which the State Government is repaying those in our community who have paid their taxes and contributed so much for so long,” Mr Goiran said.

“It is clear that this innovative and sound policy has also resulted in a win for other metropolitan commuters who, as a result of its success, now have access to a less- congested public transport system at peak periods.”

Transport Minister, Simon O’Brien said that Transperth data comparing passenger details from the week before the free travel was introduced with a typical week in May, showed a 74 per cent increase in seniors travel in the free-travel period, 9am and 3.30pm, predominantly by bus.

“In context, this means that in the pre-scheme sample period, only 34,713 seniors travelled between 9am and 3.30pm. However, in the post-introduction sample period, that number reached 60,647. The difference (25,934) is a reflection of the popularity of this policy,” he said.

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