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Why making public transport free would ’cause more problems than it solves’

Article image for Why making public transport free would ’cause more problems than it solves’

The Legislative Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has recommended extending Melbourne’s free tram zone to help boost tourism in the city’s COVID-19 recovery.

But the Public Transport Users Association says it could potentially cause more problems than it solves.

Tom Elliott asked Daniel Bowen, spokesperson for the PTUA, whether the entire public transport system should be free

“You’re talking about losing nearly a billion dollars of fare revenue,” Mr Bowen said in response.

“And the other issue is that even if the system was free, it does not provide a great service in a lot of areas of Melbourne and Victoria, particularly in the middle and outer suburbs where the car is king and the reason for that is because the service is poor.

“So even if you make that service free, that’s not going to make people switch out of their cars.

“The priority is improving the service and the way to do that is to put money into boosting infrastructure and services right across Melbourne and Victoria and you don’t do that by taking out a while bunch of fare revenue.

“That’s actually going to send you backwards, potentially, and cause more problems than it solves.”

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