Free public transport for school students and Sundays
The WA State Government has today announced its latest cost-of-living relief measure, with free public transport to be provided for school student travel and for the entire community every Sunday.
The announcement follows the success of the Summer of Free Public Transport, which began on December 24 and concludes today.
The new initiatives will provide ongoing cost-of-living relief to Western Australian families – while continuing support for small businesses.
The Ride to School Free Program will be specifically for travel to and from school Monday to Friday and will be available to those who hold a valid Student SmartRider card, while the Fare Free Sundays will be available to everyone with a valid SmartRider card.
The Ride to School Free Program will commence on Monday February 5 while the Fare Free Sundays will begin on February 4.
Families who have two children travelling to and from school daily on public transport could see savings of up to $560 across the school year as a result of the change.
The Ride to School Free Program will benefit every student that rides the bus or train to school – with around 300,000 students currently holding Student SmartRiders.
The new initiatives come on top of existing supports provided by the Government to make travel cheaper for Western Australians including:
- the free School Bus Service in regional Western Australia;
- doubling the conveyance allowance for families that cannot access the free School Bus Service;
- two-zone fare cap for travel on public transport in metropolitan Perth;
- the Regional Airfare Zone Cap scheme; and
- free public transport for seniors during off-peak.
Data released on the final day of the Summer of Free Public Transport initiative has shown the success of the scheme, with a significant uplift in patronage across the network.
Across the first four weeks of the scheme, there were more than 6.2 million SmartRider boardings on public transport, a 40 per cent increase on last year.
The CBD was major beneficiary of the free travel with almost half a million more people travelling into the city than the same period last year – an increase of 37 per cent.
During the free transport period, those using public transport were seeing savings of around $10 per person for a single return trip and potentially up to $370 across the entire period.
The free Sunday travel builds on the existing scheme, which is currently providing free travel on the first Sunday of every month.
Further details on the new free public transport schemes can be found on the Transperth website: https://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/