Newcastle bus privatisation raising fare questions
The privatisation of Newcastle buses and ferries kicked in last Friday night.
French company Keolis Downer now runs the show under the business name “Sacré Bleu”, I mean Newcastle Transport.
The same company will also operate the light rail once it’s up and rolling.
“Revenue” springs to mind as Newcastle Transport announced the introduction of fare compliance officers.
Bus drivers will tell you it’s been a problem since Opal cards were introduced, and that Keolis hasn’t taken on running the buses out of the goodness of its heart.
A period of re-education is coming, starting with “you’re supposed to pay”.
Upheaval may be another outcome.
A free bus trip along Hunter Street on any particular day is already pretty stimulating.
Abolishing that, as is mooted, will surely add to the colour and movement.
Having to pay on light rail will send a further shiver up the hip pocket nerve, even if you have money.
Particularly if you’ve had to pay for the bus ride to the new Wickham transport interchange.
It’s a little unclear at the moment, but will commuters coming into town be expected to get off the bus at the interchange and pay again for the light rail up town?
It already costs you $4.50 one-way to come in from, say, Belmont, but at least it gets you all the way.
Times $4.50 by two for the return trip ($9) and then that by five for the working week ($45) and you start to look for reasons why you wouldn’t take the car.
Read more on the Newcastle Herald.