Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fare-free weekend buses in Tasmania

Tasmanian government minister launches fare-free buses in the weekends to "reduce traffic and parking congestion" and to "encourage more people to use public transport." Great! - but aren't these valid & compelling reasons to make it free every day?

Editor, FareFreeNZ

Fare Free Weekend on the Buses

Metro is offering free travel on its buses on the weekend commencing February 12.

Launching Metro’s “Have a Weekend on us” campaign today, the Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy, Nick McKim, said the fare free weekend aimed to encourage more people to use public transport.
Mr McKim said by offering a weekend of free travel on regular services and routes, Metro was giving Tasmanians a chance to experience bus travel.
He said the free service would also reduce traffic and parking congestion on what was one of the busiest weekends of the year.
“This particular weekend is packed with major events and travelling on Metro buses provides a safe, convenient and enjoyable alternative to taking your own car,” Mr McKim said.
Events over the weekend include Festivale in Launceston, the Hobart Regatta, Hobart Cup, the Wooden Boat Festival and a Sheffield Shield cricket match at Bellerive Oval.
Metro Chief Executive Officer Heather Haselgrove said the “Have a Weekend on Us” campaign sought to encourage people who did not generally ride on buses to consider switching to Metro for future travel.
“Our aim is to increase public transport patronage in Tasmania and the fare free weekend gives people, especially those who haven’t ridden a bus in many years, the opportunity to see what it is like,” Ms Haselgrove said.
“We’re encouraging people to use buses not just to go to and from major events on this weekend, but to use regular services between other destinations – to see family and friends, go to the beach, go to shopping centres and so on.
“We believe that by showing people how easy and convenient it is, they will be more likely to see buses as a sensible alternative for daily commuting.”
Mr McKim said increasing the use of public transport had enormous long-term environmental and road safety benefits for the community and in the long-run would save people money.
The availability of the free fare services varies from region to region. In Hobart where there is a public holiday on Monday 14 February, it includes Saturday, Sunday and Monday; in Launceston the free services operate Saturday and Sunday and in Burnie the free services will run on Saturday.
For people attending Festivale on the evening of Friday 11 February, there will be free bus services on major routes from City Park (Cimitiere St before Tamar St) from 11.05pm to get people home from the event.

Tasmanian Government Media Release
Nick McKim MP
Minister for Sustainable Transport & Alternative Energy.
3 February 2011.

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