Free off-peak public transport for Brisbane city ratepayers!

Principal Petitioner Peter Hayden, Runcorn
Date Closed Sat, 31 Aug 2019 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 10 signatures

(View signatures)

Residents draw to attention the recent announcement by the Brisbane City Council to give free, off-peak public transport to senior citizens. This decision is unfair on the ratepayers of Brisbane city who have to pay for this program.

Your petitioners therefore request that the Brisbane City Council also offer free, off-peak public transport to the ratepayers of Brisbane city that ultimately will have to pay for this free off-peak travel for senior citizens. The petitioners also request that the Brisbane City Council give an optional rates discount to Brisbane city ratepayers that don't wish to participate in this proposed scheme, or don't want to pay for the free, off-peak travel of senior citizens. (Similar to the optional payment scheme the Brisbane City Council imposed on ratepayers when they were fixing City Hall some years ago.)

Council response

As part of the Lord Mayor’s 2019-20 budget, funding was included to provide free off-peak travel for eligible senior go card holders on Brisbane City Council buses, CityCats and ferries. The free travel is available from 8.30am to 3.30pm, from 7pm to 6am the next day, and all day on weekends except for CityCat and ferry services where normal off-peak fares apply.

By making it possible for seniors to get out and about more, at no cost, the initiative has the potential to bring many positive benefits to our community. It may also support the tens of thousands of volunteer hours put in by seniors across our city each year in community-based organisations. The initiative recognises the generations who have worked hard and contributed to help build our city and our community.

Free travel during off-peak times will not only make better use of available bus and ferry capacity. It will also create more opportunities for older residents to travel around the city and connect with family and friends.

Council operates its bus services under a contract with TransLink, a division of the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads. TransLink is responsible for the delivery of public transport services and infrastructure for South East Queensland. This includes the setting and collection of fares, and approval and funding of new growth services.

In order to provide free off-peak travel for seniors, Council has diligently balanced the city’s budget over the years, which enables Council to implement targeted initiatives to boost public transport usage.

Council’s rates are among the lowest in South East Queensland and discounts for rates are granted in accordance with the City of Brisbane Act 2010 and the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 with pensioners entitled to a discount on the rates account for their principal place of residence by way of pensioner remissions.

The general rates are the contributions ratepayers make towards the running of our city including services such as roads, infrastructure, public transport, parkland, bikeways, libraries and cultural events. Council is constantly seeking ways to deliver our services more innovatively, efficiently and cost-effectively. The suggestion to provide a rates discount for those ratepayers who do not support free off-peak travel for eligible seniors is not supported by either the City of Brisbane Act 2010 nor the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012.