ARA: Plan to Revamp Vic Public Transport Fares Would Boost Retail Recovery

Cheaper public transport fares during off-peak times would provide a boost to Melbourne’s retail recovery, encouraging residents to return to public transport and revive CBD and suburban locations by making travel safer and better value, the Australian Retailers Association said today.


ARA CEO Paul Zahra welcomed the release of Infrastructure Victoria’s Fair Move: Better Public Transport Fares for Melbourne report today, saying the recommendations would create a fairer system, with low income households benefiting the most from cheaper fares.


“There’s a role for public transport fares to help boost Melbourne’s economic recovery. Infrastructure Victoria’s recommendations would help get Melbournians back into CBDs and shopping centres safely when restrictions ease, and provide a much needed boost to the retail sector’s recovery,” Mr Zahra said.


“Cheaper fares would reduce the cost of living for many households, particularly those travelling outside peak-times or on underused bus services. This would make a trip to the city or a suburban shopping centre much more accessible and affordable.


Mr Zahra said that encouraging public transport users to spread their travel to off-peak periods would also reduce crowding and make travel safer, particularly during busy trading periods like the upcoming Christmas shopping season.


“We need a sustainable pricing solution as people return to work and to regular shopping around Melbourne, and protect our environment by promoting public transport use as a cleaner alternative to driving. This solution will help Melburnians spread their public transport journeys and facilitate social distancing when the city eventually does reopen.


“We welcome and support Infrastructure Victoria’s proposed reforms, and would strongly encourage these to be adopted by the Victorian Government to support the recovery of the state’s retail industry, which has taken an incredibly severe blow from the lockdown period.”


ENDS…for more details: ARA Media Team (m) 0431 045 373 (e) media@retail.org.au About us: founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $325bn sector employing more than 1.3m people. As Australia’s premier retail body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members. To learn more, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.


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