Yep it’s that time of year again. Those weekdays between Christmas and New Year where CityRail run a Saturday timetable (with a few extra morning and afternoon services) but still slug you with a full peak hour fare.
I wrote a post about this last year and at the time Barry O’Farrell seemed to think would be logical to charge an off-peak fare for an off-peak service.
Mr O’Farrell, now that you’re Premier, is this still the case or are the states finances so bad we need to squeeze every last drop from everywhere we can?
A reader pointed out last year in the comments that this issue is covered in the CityRail FAQ’s
Why do I have to pay full peak fare during holiday periods?
Rail services are already heavily subsidised by the community. The price of a full fare train ticket represents around one quarter of the total cost of providing the service. It would be unfair to further subsidise rail services by providing off-peak fares for everyone travelling throughout this period. Doing so would also disadvantage customers who purchase MyTrain and MyMulti weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly tickets.
Due to the high costs involved in running these services (even when running an amended timetable), in addition to staffing and maintenance costs during holiday periods, it is not viable for an off-peak fare to be charged over these days.
Well that statement is a bit of a cop out isn’t it? You don’t pay enough anyway so we’ll charge you based on that rather than charging for the service we deliver to you. High cost of running services? It’s not a public holiday so CityRail aren’t paying their staff penalty rates, why does it cost more now than any other weekday of the year? If it’s not viable to charge customers for what they are getting….
This time of year is a perfect opportunity to entice people back to public transport and away from their cars, offer incentives to use trains to get to work during this weak rather than provide an incentive for someone to drive to work instead.
Public transport in NSW is now supposed to be ‘all about the customer’, yes all about shafting the customer whenever you can.