Queensland Rail is throwing commuters an early Christmas gift: four days of free train travel.
The state rail authority will make Citytrains free for four consecutive Mondays from November 18.
That means that travel will be free on:
Monday 18 November
Monday 25 November
Monday 2 December
Monday 9 December
“Thank you for your continued loyalty over the last two years as Queensland Rail worked to restore services earlier this year,” Queensland Rail said in a Translink announcement.
The Brisbane rail service was plagued with problems for years under the era Queenslanders dubbed “rail fail”. The issues began in October 2016 when the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line exposed a severe shortage of train drivers and an over-reliance on overtime.
In June, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced the government would add 430 services and an extra 200,000 seats across the network from July 29 this year.
This also meant adding another 200 train drivers to the workforce.
These are the lines that will be included in the freebies:
“The free travel days are a well-deserved opportunity for loyal rail customers to put the money they save towards something special for Christmas,” Bailey said.
“If you don’t usually catch the train, then these free travel days will be a perfect opportunity to give it a try and ride the Citytrain network.”
He said the funding for the free days would come out of money previously set aside for senior managers’ bonuses.
“Queensland Rail’s board has voted to phase out performance payments, starting from the current financial year, and will work with its senior management team to implement that,” Mr Bailey said.
“In making that decision, the board supported paying $4.9 million in bonuses to about 370 eligible staff, including its executive leaders.
“Our government did not agree with that decision and directed Queensland Rail’s board to stop those payments.”
He said Queensland Rail has worked to “restore the community’s confidence” in the service, and has met its punctuality and key safety targets in the last financial year.
“The restoration of 462 weekly services and the addition of 200,000 more seats on the network for customers, as well as the re-opening the flood-damaged Mount Isa line in 12 weeks, were all achievements QR’s workers should be proud of too.
“However, it is the view of this government that bonuses for senior QR managers no longer fit with community expectations.”
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