New-look student multi-rider provides the ticket to cheaper fares
For the first time, a student-specific multi-rider will be available from next term, providing high school and primary school students with access to flat 50-cent fares, regardless of how many zones they travel.
Launching a promotional campaign for the new multi-rider, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the discount fares would slash travel costs for many families and met Labor's election commitment to introduce 50-cent fares for students from the first day of term four.
"Our new 50-cent fares will provide a better deal for families and will encourage greater use of our world-class public transport system," Ms MacTiernan said.
"A family with two children travelling two zones each day will save $608 over the school year.
"A family with two children travelling four zones will save $1,064 annually, a massive saving."
The discount fares would only be available through the purchase of the new multi-rider.
"For the first time, students will be able to purchase their own, easily identifiable multi-rider; fumbling for the correct change at the bottom of the schoolbag will become a problem of the past," the Minister said.
The new student multi-rider and other multi-riders will eventually be phased out in favour of a new Student SmartRider when the Gallop Government's SmartRider system completes its roll-out early next year.
SmartRider will be Australia's first public transport smartcard system, providing passengers with a fast, safe and cheap way of using public transport.
New fare gates and card readers are currently being installed across the network.
Today, Ms MacTiernan also released independent survey results showing strong support for students offering their seats to special needs groups including seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women and parents with young children.
The Minister said that in the coming months, the Public Transport Authority would run an education campaign calling on students and able-bodied passengers to "do the right thing" and offer their seats to people with a greater need.
From next year, students receiving the low-cost student fare under the SmartRider system, will be required to stand for adults and people with special needs.
"While teaching children courtesy must start in the home, it is clear that in some cases we need to back this up with a condition attached to the 50 cent fare, to reflect this expectation" Ms MacTiernan said.
"The survey showed there was a clear expectation within the community that students receiving the discount fare should offer their seats.
"I want to make it clear that education is the key to this campaign."
The Minister will write to all schools ahead of the introduction of the SmartRider system.
More than 460 passengers, including parents, children and seniors, were surveyed across Perth's public transport network in June.
Just over a quarter of survey respondents were children, 20 per cent were seniors and 54 per cent were adult passengers.
Key findings included:
96 per cent of respondents supported a law requiring students to stand for pregnant women (95 per cent were people with disabilities; 92 per cent were parents with young children; 90 per cent were seniors; and 66 per cent were adults).
73 per cent of respondents always offered their seat to a senior;
84 per cent of parents surveyed said they always expected their children to offer their seat to a senior; and
46 per cent of respondents would ask a child to stand for a senior if they saw a senior standing.