A new election promise from the Victorian Liberals opposition party has been slammed as being unfairly beneficial to the well-off while draining funds away from the Government that could improve public transport services.
Per The Age, planning and transport experts panned the opposition’s plans to cap public transport fares at $2 per day if a Coalition government came to power after the state’s election next month.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy revealed the big plan to land votes on Sunday, which he said would “provide a saving for students, workers and households [and] encourage people to return to the CBD” and be a “straightforward way to reduce and ease [the] cost of living”.
The $2 fare cap would mean people taking public transport would touch on with a single daily charge and be able to travel on their Myki card for the rest of the day with no further costs.
It would bring the current full fares down from $9.20 to $2 and concession tickets from $4.60 to $1 and be the biggest public transport fare drop in Australian history.
The big plan sounds all well and good in writing but experts are warned it’s actually “economically regressive”.
Professor Jago Dodson told The Age this plan from the Victorian Liberals has the risky potential of only benefiting people in suburbs where public transport infrastructure doesn’t need lots of funding: wealthy ones in inner city suburbs.
The benefits of free or cheap public transport likely wouldn’t roll on to people living in outer suburbs — where incomes are typically lower — because the network systems out there are in such dire need of improvements.
So dropping the price of public transport fares would strip crucial funds away from fixing up existing public transport issues in outer suburbs.
Feels a bit like a backwards Robin Hood, to be honest, taking from the poor to give treats to the rich. Make it make sense, please.