Friday, April 19, 2013

Go card gets even more expensive

Too expensive to purchase?
The problem with stupidly high train fares to Brisbane Airport is that many passengers (apparently 1000 a month) will try and rort the system. This, up until now could be done quite easily by using a purchasing a go card with $5 deposit, running it into debt on the way to the airport, and then chucking the go card in the bin. A further 4000 passengers are using this loop hole across the rest of the network on longer journeys. This is costing TransLink (and thus taxpayers) $220,000 a year network wide. Wow, that could pay for another fat cat QR executive!

From May 6th 2013, the minimum cost of a go card will be increased to $15, with a $10 deposit to deter the amount of go card rorting. However, with CBD to Airport journeys costing $16, and a peak single from Gympie to Central costing $20.91, then the system can still be rorted, just not by quite as much.

Whilst steps need to be taken against fare evasion. BrizCommuter has a few concerns that the go card price hike may further deter the purchase of go cards by infrequent, or potentially new public transport users. Whilst, Melbourne has successfully abolished paper tickets, SE Queensland is still languishing behind with 20th century paper ticketing for occasional users. It should be noted that Melbourne's Myki card only has a deposit (purchase cost) of $6, that's $4 less than the go card's new price. It also seems odd that nothing has been about the rorting of the ill-thought out 9 journeys then free policy, which can be rorted by longer distance commuters taking short trips in their lunch break. How much is this costing the tax payer?

Of course, it could also be argued that maybe if SE Queensland's train fares were more sensible (especially Airtrain) then passengers may be less inclined to rort the system?


  1. I hate it when people call this "rorting the system". It's public transport for crying out loud, the government *should* be subsidising it.

    It's cheaper to buy a new card for every trip, doesn't that indicate there's something wrong with the system rather than the people using it?

    1. Going by what was mentioned in the Translink Review, the government is already subsidising the current public transport service by just over 75%.

      But I agree with your second point, there is an issue with the current system we have. The reason why the costs are so high is because the network is inefficient.

      The review was supposed to help fix that, but due to politics and a small vocal minority, it looks like nothing will be done about it.

  2. The fact that they won't fix the system is quite disheartening. It definitely needs to be made simpler and cheaper but alas, common sense doesn't seem to be used here. Even trying to fix the loophole isn't being done. The deposit on the card must be the same as the maximum fare on the network.

    Case study:
    Buy a card for $10 deposit and $5 credit.
    Use the $5 credit such that the card has say $1 credit left.
    Travel to the airport and not use the card again.
    Total cost of trip to airport is $11 which is still cheaper than the $15.
    If you did this twice a day each day you would save $40 per week.


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