Acting Northern Territory Minister for Transport John Elferink
Public Bus Changes
Victor P Taffa
Public bus fares in the Northern Territory increased this week to meet growing demand for public transport, improve the standard of services and to meet the need to continue to expand the public bus network.
Free bus travel for students, seniors, and concession holders was introduced in 2009 and around 3.5 Million of the approximately 5.2 Million passenger trips undertaken last year across the network were free of charge.
Acting Transport Minister John Elferink said the cost of providing urban bus services last year was $22 Million and Territorians, through the Northern Territory Government, have been subsidising more than 90 % of that cost.
Estimated additional revenue from the increases will be $2.5 Million.
“Revenue from public transport in the Territory has been less than half that of the national average.” Mr. Elferink said.
“The simple fact is we need to ensure that Government services, like the public bus network, are economically sustainable.”
Actual future revenue raised will be based upon patronage and what ticketing options are taken by passengers who previously travelled for free, but bus fares in the Northern Territory will remain comparably lower than in other Australian jurisdictions.
Other fare increases to apply from 1 January, 2013:
- Adult 3 hour – from $2 to $3.
- Adult daily – from $5 to $7.
- Adult weekly – from $15 to $20.
“As the public bus network in the Territory is growing so rapidly and requires further investment over coming years, further revenue raising measures will need to be adopted such as allowing commercial advertising on buses from 1 July.” Mr. Elferink said.