10 days ago, BrizCommuter applied online for a refund of a $5 fixed fare caused by a faulty bus go-card reader. The email after the refund request states that the "inquiry" will take up to 10 days. Now is it just a coincidence that every time BrizCommuter has applied for a fixed fare refund it has taken exactly 10 days for the refund to appear back in his go card account? A cynic would be asking if TransLink are purposefully holding onto the refund as long as possible? Questions should be asked as to why TransLink do not appear to be refunding commuters within a reasonable timeframe (i.e. a few days)? Also, questions should be asked about how much income TransLink are making from unclaimed fixed fares?
Assuming an average fixed fare of $5, and 3.3% of 180 million journeys resulting in an unclaimed refund, results in just under $30 million of unclaimed fixed fares! Whilst a proportion of this will be from fare evasion, a reasonable chunk of this money will be from unclaimed go card fixed fares caused by no fault of the user.
Unfortunately, another of BrizCommuter's work colleagues has now given up public transport, this time over the fixed fares. Putting up with the extortionate cost of public transport when making 3-4 journeys per day (thanks to the withdrawal of daily and weekly tickets) was pushing her close to giving up public transport. Inner Northern Busway overcrowding (which is still occurring, even in the middle of the day) pushed her closer to a car showroom. The last straw was then incurring multiple fixed fares on buses through no fault of her own, and then TransLink always taking far more than a week to pay the money back. Yet another commuter forced to go car by the Queensland Government and TransLink's abysmal fare structure, poor public transport policies, and flawed go card implementation.