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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1801 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

even more strongly that people who never catch buses subsidise those who do, and that those who catch buses only rarely subsidise those who catch them daily. Those who pay full fare subsidise those who travel on cheaper monthly tickets, pensioners and concession card-holders ... If we are splitting hairs about equity we should admit that strictly no-one pays their own way.

It also says:

The provision of public transport should involve an element of public service to the less mobile sections of society. There are also sound environmental (and infrastructure) reasons why governments should get people to use public transport, even if it can't fully pay its way.

What this article is saying is that, as Ms Tucker said in speaking to the motion, there is more than making a buck out of the bus system. We have to be environmentally responsible at the same time. The article goes on to say:

A zonal system which penalises some people simply because they work (or go to school) on the wrong side of town defies reason. Should they also pay more for their water because they are comparatively further from the reservoir than someone a few suburbs away?

That is a good question. It also says:

Canberra is too small for a zonal system.

How ludicrous is it to chop up a town this size into three? It says in this article from the Canberra Times of 10 July 1998:

A time-based single-ticket system, such as that proposed by Labor at the last election, had more to recommend it.

Mr Smyth: Yes, it costs a lot more money too.

MR HARGREAVES: I hear loud and clear, probably for the sixth time, the Minister saying, "It costs a lot more money too". I would invite the Minister to have another read of Ms Tucker's motion. It says "with no fare increases". I do not believe it to be so. I think you can develop a fare system based on time which returns the same revenue. It would create an attraction for people to go onto the buses. You will find that you will probably even make money.

Another furphy debunked in this article is the difference between one person's ride and another's. When we talk about the distance travelled, we are not talking about from here to Adelaide. The difference in most people's travel can be measured in tens of kilometres, not hundreds. The difference in terms of costing of wear and tear on the vehicle is minimal. The argument just does not stand up.

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