Sunday, August 14, 2016

Still doing the go card rort?

...unless you travel short distances a lot. 
Back in 2014, BrizCommuter wrote his most popular blog post "Doing the go card rort" which has helped many a commuter (mainly long distance commuters) to know how to reduce their weekly public transport costs on Brisbane's overpriced public transport system. The post was also picked up by the media on many an occasion. The go card rort is possible due to the "9 then free" fare structure, and lack of zone based daily and weekly capping.

So with new fares in January 2017, and the replacement of "9 then free" with "8 then 50%", is the go card rort still possible? In this scenario, BrizCommuter looks at the three rort scenarios for a (new) 5 zone/(old) 13 zone commuter such as Nerang or Landsborough to Brisbane Central. With no rorting, and 10 peak journeys, the weekly cost will be $92.88.

The Easy Rort

This involves one lunch time one zone off-peak journey on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This will result in 50% fare journeys from Wednesday evening (inclusive).

Weekly Cost = $85.08
Weekly Saving = $7.80

The Pro Rort

This involves two one zone off-peak journeys on Monday and Tuesday. Maybe during morning tea, and lunch. 50% fare journeys from Wednesday morning (inclusive).

Weekly Cost = $82.48
Weekly Saving = $10.40

The Extreme Rort

This involves three one zone off-peak journeys on Monday and two on Tuesday. Maybe during morning and afternoon tea, and lunch. 50% fare journeys from the peak journey home on Tuesday (inclusive).
2.56x5= 12.8

Weekly Cost = $79.88
Weekly Saving = $13 (over $600 saving a year)


Whilst the new fare system was designed to reduce the rorting that was occurring with the go card system, doing the go card rort will still be possible for longer distance commuters after the change to "8 then 50%" in January 2017. As the savings by doing the rort are far less than the old fare structure, then it is likely that only the keen or miserly will continue to do the rort. However, this continues to show the new fare structure is simply re-arrangeing the deck chairs on the Titanic, and that a account based fare system that allows for daily and weekly zone based capping is urgently required for Brisbane and SE Queensland.


  1. Weekly zone based capping still required? I think you've just shown that it might not be.

    I never minded 10 then 50%. It was simple and fair. There was never a reason for change and reducing the number of zones is just a change to justify the existence of the task force.

  2. One thing I don't understand is how sometimes on Friday I get charged the first trip (having done 8+ trips mon-thurs) yet OTHER fridays my first trip and trips after are free? (pension card holder) How is it I can do 9 trips on Mon-Thur when the most possible to do a day is 2? ( i did ask translink this and they didn't know)

  3. Its hardly a "rort" when people are using the system to there advantage rather than the usual way


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