COMMUTERS are set to benefit from cheaper fares following a major overhaul in south-east Queensland's public transport system.
Under the Palaszczuk Government's Fairer Fares package, single zone travel during peak time will be reduced from $3.35 to $3.20 from next year.
Customers will be able to travel further within a zone, with the number of travel zones constricting from 23 to eight. The costs under the larger zones will also be reduced.
For instance, a Gold Coast commuter travelling between Robina and Brisbane city will save $1196.64 a year with the 15-zone trip becoming five zones.
Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe says the package is designed to benefit the majority of commuters, with more than 93 per cent of users expected to save money.
"This is the largest investment in public transport services in a decade since the rollout of the go card and integrated ticketing," Hinchliffe says.
"Modelling from the Department of Transport and Main Roads shows that this package will attract as many as 8 million new users to public transport a year.
"This is the equivalent of taking 7 million cars off our roads every year and fewer cars means less congestion across our local and major road network."
The 9 and Free go card scheme will be replaced with 8 and 50, where public transport users will receive a 50 per cent discount on fares after eight paid journeys during the week.
Hinchliffe says 85 per cent of commuters never qualified for the savings loophole and subsidised free travel for 15 per cent of users at a cost of more than $100 million since it was introduced.
He says patronage also declined by more than 2 million trips.
"The 9 and Free scheme only encouraged public transport users to game the system, it unfortunately failed to successfully pass on savings to a majority of regular public transport users or raise patronage levels," he says.
"The reality is 85 per cent of users were not even qualifying for free travel, meaning they never received a benefit."
Off-peak travel times have been extended between 7pm and 6am and between 8.30am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and all day on weekends.
The price changes are based on recommendations from the independent Fare Review Taskforce and will be frozen until the end of next year.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support