Fare evasion is rife because tickets cost too much

A LOBBY group has claimed fare evasion on public transport is "out of control" in Queensland because the cost of doing the right thing remains unaffordable.

RAIL Back on Track is a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers.

Spokesman Robert Dow said the latest TransLink data confirmed that fare unaffordability was "at its worst levels ever."

"Observations by RAIL Back on Track members around the network on all modes suggest that fare evasion is now out of control," he said.

"This is no great surprise with the high cost fares and failing fare system - two very different fare technologies that allow the system to remain wide open."

Mr Dow called on the Queensland Government to get rid of paper single tickets.

"Give go cards to the unemployed and grant them concession fares," he said.

"Reset the base fare costs, increase the off peak discount.

"Allow children to travel free with a fare paying adult on weekends and public holidays.

"Get rid of the free after 9 paid journeys in a week and re-introduce 50% fares after this cap."

Mr Dow's comments come as the government put out a statement saying "record numbers of bus, train and ferry passengers are taking advantage of the Queensland Government's free travel after nine weekly journeys."

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said since the policy was introduced almost two years ago about 78,500 people a week were benefiting.

"As part of our strong plan for a brighter future we are delivering real savings for passengers with more than 7.1 million free journeys taken since June 2012," he said.

"Many of these trips would not have been taken without the incentive of free travel with the policy encouraging passengers to choose to get out of their cars and on to public transport."


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