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Transport fares slashed to 50c in one state

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Queensland Premier Steven Miles expected commuters could save thousands of dollars due to the temporary measure. Picture: NewsWire / Glenn Campbell

Public transport fares across Queensland will be temporarily slashed to a flat 50c fee in a bid to ease cost of living pressures and traffic gridlocks for thousands of commuters.

On Sunday, Queensland Premier Steven Miles revealed a 50c fare would apply for all Translink services across the state irrespective of the location or distance from August 5.

Commuters are expected to save thousands due to the initiative — covering trains, buses, CityCat ferries and the Gold Coast light rail — which will be trialled for six months.

The Queensland State Government expects the initiative will drive increased uptake of public transport services, where patronage still remains 13 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, and consequently free up congested roads in the state’s south-east.

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Queensland Premier Steven Miles announced a flat 50c public transport fares across the state to ease cost of living pressures. Picture: NewsWire/Tertius Pickard
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Commuters are expected to save thousands in transport fares when the initiative is rolled out from August 5. Picture: NewsWire

Mr Miles said the measure would help “bust congestion” by making public transport “as close to free as you can get”.

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“For someone catching the train to work in Brisbane from … Mango Hill costs up to $96 a week,” he said.

“And if you drive to work, you’re stuck in peak hour traffic every day and paying a lot more than that. It’s why I’m making all public transport fares a flat 50c – no matter where you live, your mode of travel, or how far you go.”

But under the government’s 50c flat fee measure, Mr Miles said the same commuter from Mango Hill would save more than $90 a week.

“I expect this will save Queenslanders thousands of dollars over six months, and encourage more people to catch our fast, frequent and 50 cent public transport.

“Queenslanders are doing it tough, but they can trust that my government is here to help and we’re doing what matters to Queensland.”

The measure comes as motorists across Queensland feel the pinch at the bowser, with average prices across the state sitting at 198.3c per litre according to the most recent measure released by the Australian Institute of Petroleum.

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Public transport across the state, including the popular CityCat services, will cost just 50c a fare. Picture: NewsWire/ Tertius Pickard

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the measure would make public transport “affordable and attractive” to Queenslanders.

“Fifty cent fares will mean savings you can see every day,” he said. “We hope they will make a lot more people in the South East consider using public transport for their daily commute, which reduces congestion for everyone.”

The six month trial is expected to cost $150m, the June 11 budget will forecast, contributing to a projected $3bn deficit.

Concession card holders who already enjoy a halved fare, will also receive the 50c fee for TransLink services — a lesser rate than the current arrangements.

The 50c fares will not apply to privately-operated transport services.

Coupled with the $1000 power bill rebate for every household, the measure is likely to add to already heightened concerns that Queensland’s rampant pre-election spend risks undermining the RBA’s inflation fighting efforts.

Polls ahead of the October state election indicate Queensland Labor is on track for a crushing defeat, with the Liberal National Party and its leader David Crisafulli commanding a strong lead.