Reforms to regional Queensland urban bus networks are approaching another milestone with fare and zones changes to be introduced to five additional regional centres.
Cairns, Townsville and Magnetic Island, Gympie, Mackay, and Rockhampton-Yeppoon will be the next regions to receive new fares and zones when the changes take effect on Monday, September 26.
Changes include the introduction of a consistent fare table and concentric zone structure across all regional areas, similar to South East Queensland.
Translink General Manager for Passenger Transport Strategy and Technology Martin Bradshaw said the new fare and zone structure would provide customers with an equitable and more consistent public transport experience no matter where they travel in Queensland.
"A consistent base fare of $2.40 (adult) and $1.20 (concession) will be introduced across all regional areas and zonal increases set at $0.60 (adult) and $0.30 (concession)," Mr Bradshaw said.
"As a result of the changes, fares will decrease slightly or remain unchanged for the majority of adult and concession trips.
"The changes will also help simplify fare structures to remove customer confusion and pave the way for the future state-wide rollout of Smart Ticketing."
Mr Bradshaw said the changes to the fare and zone structure would be the first of several exciting improvements to public transport across regional Queensland.
"Gympie and Rockhampton-Yeppoon, which are under the current qconnect brand, will transfer to the Translink network, joining Cairns, Townsville and Mackay," he said.
"Operating under the Translink brand will bring a number of benefits which will be progressively introduced to customers. These include access to the Translink website, social media channels, MyTranslink app, integrated journey planning, real-time and service disruption information, and Translink's 24/7 contact centre (13 12 30).
"As these benefits are progressively rolled out, customers will also benefit from upgraded bus stops and station signage."
Mr Bradshaw said fare and zone changes would be made during school holidays and communicated to students before they resume their travel to minimise any confusion or disruption.
The changes to fare and zone structures across Queensland’s 16 regional urban bus networks were first announced by Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey in June.
New fare and zone structures were implemented in Warwick, Innisfail, Bowen, Fraser Coast (school network only), Whitsundays (urban network only), and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on July 4.
Updated fare and zone structures will be rolled out in the remaining regions of Toowoomba, Kilcoy-Caboolture, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Whitsundays (school network only) in January 2023.