I hate to say “I told you so”, Minister Constance. Sharp Drop in Saturday Public Transport Use after Removal of the Opal Weekly Travel Reward

Saturday, January 7, 2017 | Dr Mehreen Faruqi

Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the loss of the Weekly Travel Reward (‘free travel after eight journeys’ Opal rule) was always going to drive down public transport use on the weekend after Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Saturday patronage on NSW public transport has fallen by almost 9 percent.

Dr Faruqi said:

“The very sharp 9% drop in public transport use on Saturdays shouldn’t really come as a surprise to the Transport Minister. It was inevitable that removing weekly travel rewards would serve as a disincentive to use public transport on weekends.

“As usual, this Government’s ill-thought through plans have resulted in more people abandoning public transport on Saturday and getting back on the road.

“The Government was warned of this outcome but as usual they refused to listen.

“The weekend is the time when road congestion is increasing and public transport is underutilised, but somehow this government can’t seem to work out this logic and act accordingly. Or perhaps, their agenda is to get more people onto roads so they can justify their multi-billion dollar toll road agenda?

“Putting in measures that drive down public transport use and penalise people who have no other options was always a short-sighted, backward and unfair move and must be reversed. How about a backflip on this one?” she concluded.

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