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/ Categories: PTA News

Free travel package believed to be Australian first

Sun 05 April, 2009

Western Australian seniors and aged and disability support pensioners can now access free public transport every day.


The entitlement applied from 9am to 3.30pm on weekdays plus all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.


The free off-peak bus, train and ferry travel may be accessed only through a SmartRider card, using the normal tag-on/tag-off process. It is believed to be the only such package in Australia.


Previously, free travel was confined to WA seniors and limited to Sunday, public holidays and during Seniors Week, initiatives introduced under Liberal Premier Richard Court.


Mr O’Brien said he expected about 320,000 seniors and aged and disability support pensioners would benefit from the initiative.


“The Liberal-National Government has a very good record on public transport,” he said.


“It was during our last period in Government that free travel for seniors on Sundays and public holidays was introduced.”


Seniors Minister Robyn McSweeney said it was expected about 320,000 seniors and aged and disability support pensioners would benefit from the initiative.


It really is a way of the Government thanking seniors for the contribution they make to the community and a way of recognising their need to be mobile when personal transport is not always an option,” she said.


“So many seniors have personally thanked me for the State Government’s hard work to put in place free transport arrangements. They tell me it will increase the quality of their daily lives and allow greater freedom of movement and more frequent interaction with family and friends.”


Minister O’Brien said the free public transport initiative extended to the country. In Geraldton, where SmartRider operated, the arrangement would be the same as on Transperth services.


“In other country towns with a Government-controlled regional town bus service, seniors and aged and disability support pensioners can show their concession card to the bus driver to access free travel during the same time frames,” he said.


“Seniors Card holders need do nothing - they can use their existing Seniors SmartRider - but aged and disability pensioners must first apply to have their existing concession SmartRider reprogrammed or get a new SmartRider if they do not already have one.”


SmartRider cards are available from authorised retail sales outlets, Transperth InfoCentres or by calling the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13 for an application form.


Early last month, Premier Colin Barnett, with Ministers O’Brien and McSweeney, announced the Liberal-National Government would extend the weekday hours of free public transport promised at the last election from five hours to 6.5 hours (9am to 3.30pm).


Transport Minister's office: 9213 6400
Seniors Minister's office: 9222 8950
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