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PUBLIC transport users will be slugged an extra $80 for an annual adult myki pass from January 1, while daily tickets will cost more than $8 for the first time.
As energy giants prepare to hit households with electricity and gas price rises of hundreds of dollars a year from the same date, the Andrews Government says it will hike transport fares for the majority of train, tram and bus users.
The move is likely to anger social services groups, but has been defended by Labor as a cost increase put into the Budget by the previous coalition government.
Changes to fares mean a two-hour pass will cost $4.10, and a daily ticket will be $8.20.
Concession-card holder fares will remain half the cost of a standard adult ticket.
For commuters who buy an annual pass, the cost will rise by $80, to $1599 a year.
Manuela Yee, 48, Mont Albert said she wanted an improved service foir the price rise.
“I have to take the train to work so I’m not happy with the price hike unless we get a better quality of service,” she said.
And Olivia Dunkley, 23, Mooroolbark said: “40c a day isn’t much but if you had to take the train for work, it would add up for sure”.
As a sweetener, the government will extend the age of free travel to four-year-olds, and will also allow 17-year-olds to get cheaper concession fares for the first time.
This will save 17-year-olds not in school about $760 a year.
Commuters are about to be slugged more than $8 for a daily ticket.And on weekends, concession-card holders will see the cost of travel cut from $3.90 to $3.
Public Transport Users’ Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said it was a “mixed bag”, but that it was disappointing to see standard fares hiked above inflation once again.
“At $4.10 for a short suburban trip, it might mean it’s not affordable for some people using public transport,” he said.
“The last thing we want is people switching to their car instead of taking a tram ride to the shops.”
Mr Bowen said the move to allow four-year-olds to travel for free was positive and in line with other states.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the changes will make things “simpler, fairer and cheaper for families and kids to travel on public transport”.
“The Liberals made four year-olds buy a ticket, kids pay too much on the weekend, and 17 year old apprentices fork out $760 more every year than they should have. We don’t think that’s fair and we’re fixing it,” she said.
“These changes will make a real difference for families who rely on public transport, making it easier for their kids to get home safe.”
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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