On the weekend, Opposition leader Matthew Guy announced that the Coalition Government, if elected, would cap public transport fares at $2 per day for the next 4 years.
Rod Barton MP believes that public transport strategies must look beyond a single electoral cycle. In 2020, Barton introduced the Inquiry into Expanding Melbourne’s Free Tram Zone and the terms of reference included providing free transport for students and seniors.
During this Inquiry, Infrastructure Victoria stated that making fares free for students and seniors would reach 58% of low-income earners in Victoria. ¹ Reducing living costs and enhancing mobility for over half of low-income earners would be a significant achievement and critical progress towards a fairer and more equitable society.
Transport experts have alleged that the Liberals’ plan to cap fares won’t support families who truly need it. Barton believes there is nothing more important than ensuring kids can get to and from school and seniors can access basic health and community services.
Public transport concessions must be fiscally responsible and look to the long-term. A 4-year discount for all Victorians will not address the systematic transport disadvantages faced by our most vulnerable.
The Liberals’ plan is short-sighted. Victorians deserve a fiscally responsible strategy to improve public transport accessibility and patronage.
¹Daniel Harrison, Transcript of Evidence, p 14. Inquiry into Expanding Melbourne’s Free Tram Zone https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/SCEI/Free_Tram_Zone/transcripts/3.FINAL-Infrastructure_Victoria.pdf
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“Victoria’s can tell a one-off election cycle policy from a long-term public transport plan when they see one.”
“There needs to be serious reform of our public transport fare system to make it more accessible. Currently, it is far from fair or equitable.”
Media contact: Norm Dunn, Chief of Staff Rod Barton MP, 0438 175 113 Norm.email@example.com