Community events safe as PTA cracks down special-event transport
There will be no change to arrangements for community events like Skyshow and the Christmas Pageant under the Public Transport Authority’s stance on the provision of services for special events.
PTA CEO Reece Waldock said today that people travelling to the city to attend these events will still pay their normal fare while the bulk of the cost of the big number of extra buses and trains – given that public transport is about 70-75 per cent subsidised – will continue to be met by the taxpayer (through the PTA).
Nor will there be any change to arrangements for joint-ticketed events (where travel is included in the ticket cost) like the football or the Britney Spears concert, or WACA cricket and the Johnny Walker Golf Classic, which pay a fee to have extra pay-as-you-use services.
“Most promoters and venues – including the AFL, soccer, rugby, Burswood and Members Equity – already have joint-ticketing or flat-fee deals,” Mr Waldock said.
“It need not even alter the price of a ticket and when it does, it’s negligible … we’re talking about $1-$1.50 on tickets which cost up to $150 each.
“We are simply trying to make it fair – fair for the concert-goers, some of whom pay their train fares while others don’t; fair for the promoters, most of whom already contribute to the cost of public transport while a few refuse; and fair for WA taxpayers, whose money is better spent on more and better timetabled services.
“If the number of people going to and from an event on public transport is reasonably modest, our normal services are sufficient – depending on the day and time – but in recent years, events coming to Perth have increased in size (as well as number), requiring extra, event-specific services, for which we are not funded.
“What we are talking about is providing enough of those extra services to meet the extra demand.”
Mr Waldock said that, after being forced to fund extra public transport from the same finite operating budget that provides normal timetabled services, the PTA began to seek a contribution from promoters about 10 years ago.
Most now contributed to the cost of extra public transport, even including charity events such as the City to Surf and the Freeway Bike Hike.
“Responsible event organisers and venues recognise the value of public transport and treat is as a standard running cost along with electricity, security services, booking services, toilets etc,” he said.
“Responsible event organisers enter into service-provision agreements with us to make it easier – and safer – for their patrons, many of whom may be under driving age, to get to and from the event.
“Unfortunately, a few entrepreneurs seem determined to maximise their returns at the expense of passenger safety and still refuse to enter into any agreement with us – they believe it is the responsibility of the State’s taxpayers to support their commercial event.
“We have an obligation to ensure that the taxpayers of WA get reasonable value for their substantial investment in public transport, so we are getting tougher.
“No longer will we be held to ransom by event organisers who put profit before passenger safety – and we are looking for the support of local government.
“To this end, we recently contacted 24 councils, seeking to establish MoUs (memorandums of understanding) under which council can require promoters to have an approved transport plan – just as they must have emergency evacuation plans, and an appropriate number of toilets and so on.
“Hopefully, this will help settle the matter.”
PTA media contact
Telephone: (08) 9326 2526
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