Member for Morwell Russell Northe has today released a personally commissioned Parliamentary Intern report, to delve into the discriminatory myki public transport fares in the Latrobe Valley.
“Over time, many local users of our public transport system have not only raised concerns on the standard of some services”, Mr Northe began, “but also the unfair pricing structure that exists. Particularly for local students and Seniors, when compared to the prices for commuters in other major regional Victorian centres”.
“Indeed, the report’s findings make it clear that Latrobe Valley commuters pay more than our regional Victorian counterparts to utilise public transport”, Mr Northe said.
The report surmises: “it is clear that there are some fare anomalies in Latrobe that are the result of the zone-based fare structure of the myki ticketing system”. Its recommendations include conducting an inquiry into these anomalies and investigating the resources required to implement changes to the myki system in the Latrobe Valley.
The author of this report, Mr Jack Hunt, interviewed several individuals and groups in the Latrobe Valley about their public transport experiences – including community leaders – to provide a comprehensive research piece.
Mr Hunt found that many people weren’t aware they were keenly disadvantaged when compared with travel costs attributed to other regional hubs such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
“The report findings prove that the zone-based fare structure of the myki network results in my community paying more to travel per kilometre”, Mr Northe said, “as well as limiting access for our vulnerable commuters, such as seniors and students”.
“This means that our students pay double what other students pay, and our seniors don’t have near as many benefits as their metropolitan and regional counterparts”.
“I have raised these issues in Parliament many times and all to no avail, but I will keep persisting – this is just not right”, continued Mr Northe.
“This report proves that Latrobe Valley commuters are paying higher fares for inferior services, and that is simply not fair”.
Mr Northe has written to the Minister for Public Transport and provided the Minister’s office with a copy of the report.
“In addition to writing to the Minister for Public Transport, I am hopeful that the Parliament’s Economy and Infrastructure’s “Inquiry into expanding Melbourne’s Free Tram Zone” will in part address my concerns over student and Senior fares”, Mr Northe said.
“Part of the Committee’s terms of reference will consider the removal of fares for eligible student and Seniors and in my submission submission to the Committee I raised a number of fare anomalies that confront Latrobe Valley travellers”, Mr Northe concluded.