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New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Perth / Western Australia Transport Discussion

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New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby Mr OC Benz » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:41 pm

As expected at this time of the year, fares are changing from 1 July 2017.

- 1.8 per cent increase in standard fares (to nearest 10c)
- Student fares to 70 cents (from 60c)
- 5 per cent reduction in discount offered to SmartRider fares

While it might look great that there is only a 1.8 per cent increase in cash fares... given the majority of people are using SmartRider, they are now essentially stung with potentially a double digit percentage increase, and there is now even less incentive to use SmartRider versus cash fares due to the discount reduction. Pretty bad policy decision. Would have been a lot better had the cash fares gone up significantly, with SmartRider discounts slightly improving, thus raising the necessary revenue required while retaining the incentive to use SmartRider which drives improvements in efficiency in a number of fields (data, timetabling etc).

A SmartRider Autoload 2-zone fare currently costs $3.45 (25% discount), but this will increase to $3.76 (20% discount) from 1 July. That essentially means a 9% increase for a SmartRider Autoload 2-zone fare.
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby Merc1107 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:20 am

It is a bit worrying - there are already a number of people that complain a 1 or 2 zone fare is already (supposedly) more expensive than driving. In terms of leisure trips between different suburban areas, I certainly agree. If you have to pay for parking (in the city), then yes, it probably does still work out to be cheaper.

For me, a non-concessional, 20% discounted fare for any distance (especially 8 or 9 zones) works out to be about the same as fuelling my car for the equivalent, or longer distance. And thats a car that takes premium fuel and isn't as frugal as some newer vehicles!

It is the fares like a 2-section or 1 zone that should perhaps be the most discounted. I can tell you right now the 5-10min drive to my local shopping centre does not cost $2.48 (or $3.10 in cash).
Driving works out to be much quicker than walking 5-10mins to my local bus stop, waiting 15-30mins for a bus (depending on the day and time), then being restricted in what I buy based on what I can carry, then repeating the whole process of waiting, walking etc. Is it any wonder people drive when it saves them time and money?

With this in mind, is it really any wonder people aren't sold on public transport?
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:34 pm

People don't take into account the real costs of running their car. Fuel is only a minority component of the overall picture, even if you discount the standing cost (assuming you are going to own a car anyway). This suggests that people don't actually care about (perceived) cost, including that of parking, it's convenience they're focussing on.

I find it funny that in that annual Canstar Blue survey (the one that Perth trains win every year as the best in Australia), the only significant area in which Perthians have slightly less satisfaction with their public transport is fares. I find this pretty amazing as the fares strike me as being pretty cheap (about the only cheap thing in Perth!) compared to other Australian cities, in fact according to Canstar the cheapest. I wonder if the isolation from anywhere else means that most people don't have anything to compare with and just like a good whinge?

I think the big problem in Perth is that it was provided with lots of very good roads and motorways during the automobile boom era when public transport was poorer and people have become entrenched in this, in spite of overwhelming advantages in the now-excellent public transport - journey times, costs, seamlessness, accessibility, coverage etc. Although a lot of people have been attracted from their cars (Perth has had the greatest rate of growth in public transport usage in Australia), even more of them doggedly stick to driving in spite of Transperth's huge incentives to change.

The most bizarre sight I find in Perth is that of thousands of cars crawling slowly along those motorways in peaks while trains shoot past them at up to 130 km/h. Unreal. It's certainly a hard nut to crack!
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby sylar » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:29 pm

Agreed tonyp, the rise in public transport fares is nothing compared to driving a car every day. Too many people are attached to their cars in Perth or are just bone lazy to put the extra effort in to use public transport, I happily leave my car locked up in my garage the entire working week preferring to use the bus to get into the city everyday instead and use most of the afternoons to walk 12 kms home for my exercise. When you look at all the cars crawling along the freeways the majority of them are occupied by the driver on their own, i'm all for the projects which improve our public transport and don't really care about the so called "congestion" on Perth roads.

Smart rider with auto load is the way to go.
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby theenglishguy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:31 pm

Comparing costs of public transport v private vehicles journeys is not at all straight-forward though, so it should not be surprising that many people do not truely understand the actual cost of their commute.

The cost of public transport is very easy to determine because it is just the fare - for instance $3.50 each way ($7/day or $35/week). Private vehicles are very different though, with a substantial proportion of the cost borne through car ownership rather than car usage. The vehicle might cost $15,000 + $400/year for rego + $600/year for insurance, but It doesn’t matter if the owner drives 100km or 100,000km each year - these costs are fixed. If car ownership can be reduced then there is potential for substantial savings - but convincing people in Perth to give up their cars is not an easy task. Some families might be able to make do with only one vehicle, but they would need good access to public transport and many would take a lot of convincing.

The bigger issue is that on a day-to-day basis it often does not make financial sense for someone in a household that already owns 2+ vehicles to take public transport rather than drive. Most people already have access to their own private vehicle where the sunk cost of car ownership is already paid and the incremental costs for each individual journey are small. Petrol is relatively cheap ($10/100km) and outside inner city areas parking is nearly always free. If I am driving 5-10kms to a shopping centre and back with free parking, the total cost of that journey is only going to be $2-3, whereas on public transport it would be nearly double the cost and travel time would be longer. It really is a challenge to convince someone to leave their car at home and catch the bus/train instead when it does not make financial sense on a trip-by-trip basis.

Of course, the high cost of parking in the CBD ($20+/day) makes public transport much more attractive, but for other journeys the economics just don't stack up. Even when visiting somewhere like Subiaco or Fremantle, parking is usually cheap enough to make driving more attractive than public transport.

If public transport is more expensive than than driving for most trips and people in Perth won’t give up their cars - it's hardly surprising that nearly all non-CBD trips are by private vehicle. Also unsurprising that as CBD employment declines, public transport usage also falls. We can complain about Perth people making irrational decisions - but we need to realise that something need to be done differently if we want public transport to truely thrive here.

Personally I believe cost is a huge issue (although there are many other problems too). The first step is that either public transport needs to be cheaper or driving needs to be more expensive - and the latter is far more viable.
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby tonyp » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:50 pm

Yes I'm well aware of the fact that the sunk cost of owning a motor car (when you have to own one anyway) is overlooked by those who make a facile comparison between the cost of running a car vs the cost of using public transport. In crude terms, the reasoning is once you own a car you might as well use it.

You may have seen the story of the schoolteacher who commutes from Akimos to Secret Harbour and her costs.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/wa/a/35972592 ... day/#page1

When I tracked down her journey origin/destination points, using the journey planner I established that it was actually quicker for her in peak period to go by public transport - even though the journey includes two buses and a train! - than to drive and it would surely have cost her less per annum than the cost quoted in the news piece. When you google the off-peak car journey time between Perth Railway Station and either Mandurah or Butler Station, it is couple of minutes longer than the train journey, which is quite remarkable considering that the train has 10 stops in each case and the car journey is almost all along motorway.

Of any Australian city, Perth tries the hardest by a long shot to make public transport inviting! Yet, notwithstanding factors like the ownership cost of a car, I still have trouble coming to terms with why in peak periods, people are prepared to sit in those epic crawling carparks along the Kwinana freeway etc while they see right in front of their noses trains roaring past them at warp speed! There must be enough material there for a whole conference of anthropologists.

I note that in the last PTA annual report, they do indeed note that, due to the rise in CBD office vacancies (and hence workforce exodus from there), Perth's patronage has fallen about 5 million in that last year.
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Re: New Transperth Fares Schedule - July 2017

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:01 pm

$600/year for insurance, but It doesn’t matter if the owner drives 100km or 100,000km each year - these costs are fixed.

My car insurance is charged at a distance related amount. If I average less that 100 km per week it is quite a discount and some of friends do only such small distance. Even at less than 200km per week which I pay, I get quite a good discount.
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