Public Transport Price Hike Could Drive Usage Down

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16th October 2009, 07:11pm - Views: 725

People Feature Heart Foundation QLD 1 image

16 October 2009


The Heart Foundation is urging the Queensland Government to reconsider its pricing increase for the

public transport system in South East Queensland. 

Two important targets set for the Government’s Towards Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland are to reduce both

obesity and carbon emissions by one third by 2020. Keeping public transport affordable is a key strategy to

achieving these targets. 

With continued population growth, the South East Queensland Integrated Regional Transport Plan

acknowledges that increasing the proportion of trips made by public transport, walking and cycling is a

major strategy to reduce congestion on our roads. 

The Heart Foundation has congratulated the Queensland Government on its major funding injection into

public transport infrastructure in South East Queensland and would like to see greater efforts to increase

usage and to get people out of their cars and walking.

Heart Foundation CEO Cameron Prout said “Significant price increases are a real disincentive to

encouraging greater public transport usage. The Heart Foundation would like to see a comprehensive

range of measures introduced to increase patronage, such as affordable and equitable pricing, more

funding for the TravelSmart program, and more regular and coordinated services”. 

“Another important consideration is to help remove barriers to people using public transport. We know

there are price sensitivities that will reduce car usage, such as petrol prices, congestions taxes, and car

registration. We certainly don’t want price sensitivities to reduce or inhibit public transport patronage,” Mr

Prout said. 

Professor Chris Rissel, keynote speaker on active transport at the National Physical Activity Conference

currently being held in Brisbane, says that public transport is a key area for both obesity prevention and

climate change.  

“Research clearly shows that those people who are physically active for 30 minutes or more a day are less

likely to suffer from conditions such as heart disease. People using public transport usually include some

walking at one or both ends of the trip, adding to the health benefits,” said Professor Rissel.

People from lower socio-economic areas should also not be disadvantaged. The South East Queensland

Integrated Regional Transport Plan highlights that social justice is a key consideration, ensuring that the

costs and benefits are shared equitably across the region.

“These price rises are well above CPI, with paper tickets increasing by up to 40%. Urban sprawl means

that people from lower socio-economic areas need to travel further distances. These people will be hit the

hardest and may opt to use their car instead. The healthy and green choice, has to be the easy choice”,

said Mr Prout. 

Ends –

For more information or to arrange an interview with Cameron Prout or Professor Chris Rissel, please Jill Sims 

Media and Communications Manager  Mob: 0421 911 116 

About the Heart Foundation

The Heart Foundation saves lives and improves health through funding world-class cardiovascular research,

guidelines for health professionals, informing the public and assisting people with cardiovascular disease. As a

charity, the Heart Foundation relies on donations and gifts in Wills to continue its lifesaving research, education and

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