The third and final stage of exciting changes to regional Queensland urban bus fares and zones is set to be introduced in mid-January 2023.
On January 16 2023, Toowoomba, Kilcoy, Gladstone, and Bundaberg will receive new fares and zones, bringing them in line with all other regional urban bus networks.
Changes include the introduction of a consistent fare table and concentric zone structure across all regional areas, similar to what is in place in South East Queensland.
The first stage of the regional Queensland urban bus fare reform was rolled out on July 4 2022, with the second stage introduced on September 26 2022.
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 one-zone 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 both adult and concession trips.
"The changes will also help simplify fare structures to remove customer confusion and pave the way for the future statewide rollout of Smart Ticketing.”
Mr Bradshaw said the introduction of the final rollout would signal a significant milestone for regional urban bus travel.
“For the first time, customers – regardless of the regional urban bus network they are travelling on – will be on the same fare and zone structure which will make their public transport experience simpler, easier and more equitable,” he said.
"The changes to the fare and zone structure will be the first of a number of exciting improvements to public transport across regional Queensland.
"Gladstone, Bundaberg and Kilcoy, which are under the current qconnect brand, will become Translink branded regions, joining Toowoomba.
"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)."
The fare and zone changes will be made during the Christmas school holidays and communicated to students before they return to class for Term 1 2023 to minimise any confusion or disruption.
The changes to fare and zone structures across Queensland’s 16 regional urban bus networks were announced by Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey on 17 June 2022.
New fare and zone structures were implemented in Warwick, Innisfail, Bowen, Fraser Coast (school network only), Whitsundays (urban network only), and Sunshine Coast Hinterland on July 4 2022.
Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Gympie, and Rockhampton-Yeppoon received their updated fare and zone structures on September 26 2022.
Mr Bradshaw said feedback from all areas in the first two stages had been positive with customers happy with the consistent fare structure and commenting the simpler zone model was easier to understand.
Call 13 12 30 for more information on the changes.