The Issue at a Glance

Should Public Transport be Free

Context of the Proposal

The Liberal Government have announced that from January 1 of 2015 there will be a number of changes that significantly lower the cost of public transport fees. The changes include:

- All tram networks in the CBD and Docklands are free

- The maximum fare for trains, trams or buses will be a zone 1 fare

- Passengers only travelling in zone 2 have a discounted fare


Regardless of who wins the next election, the public transport fees will decrease massively as the Labour government have backed the proposed plan. Premier Denis Napthine has statd “A commuter who pays for a Zone 1 and 2 ticket each day will save around $1200 a year, or, if using an annual myki pass, will save more than $750". However, the plan involves a payment of $100 million a year from the State Budget. The maximum increase of costs for this plan is 2.5% plus inflation.

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Benefits to Society

- The $100 million a year is a direct, expensive cost, however it is believed these costs will be outweighed. By making public transport free, cars will be taken off the roads decreasing the need for roadworks and additional freeways, roads and carparks. The proposal will make Melbourne a more attractive city for business, reducing stress about payments when tonching on and off.

- The proposal creates a fair system that steers away from discrimination that detriments people that are unable to pay the fares.

- Fare evasion will be abolished, ridding the negative system and reducing costs for ticket inspectors and advertisements.

- In result of less cars being on the road, less carbon will be emitted, supporting Australia's vision of becoming an environmentally friendly country, adopting clean energy sources.

The Negative Side

- The costs are a massive amount to fork out of the limited budget that we have, and this money could be put into more important issues that benefit the whole country, such as the education and health system

- The quality of the transport and environment would be degraded, as not as much money would be put in.

- Not all taxpayers will benefit from the plan, however everybody has to pay a significant amount