National Seniors Australia is joining forces with Independent MP Andrew Wilkie in calling for free off-peak bus travel for seniors living in Hobart.
Australia’s peak consumer and advocacy organisation for older Australians had research carried out by transport economist and National Seniors member Peter Kruup on public transport spending in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Chair of National Seniors’ Policy Advisory Group, Mary Parsissons acknowledged the work done by Mr Kruup which found Hobart had the lowest spending per capita of any capital city when it comes to public transport.
“Hobart is a growing city with lots of young families moving here and unfortunately a symptom of that is more traffic congestion."
“Providing free off-peak travel for seniors on Hobart’s bus network is a no brainer,” Ms Parsissons said.
Mr Wilkie seized on the report by Mr Kruup who also found that the Tasmanian State Government spends less than a third of the national average on public transport.
“According to the Commonwealth Grants Commission, Tasmania spends less than any other jurisdiction on public transport, investing $196 per capita in 2019/20 compared with an Australian average of $614.
“It’s time the State Government stopped scrimping on public transport,” Mr Wilkie said.
Mary Parsissons says seniors would be prepared to leave their cars at home if there were cheaper options for using public transport.
“We’d do our bit to unclog Hobart’s roads if there were discounts and free travel,” she said.