Sunday, July 21, 2024

Brisbane seniors clock up 10 million free trips

Brisbane’s seniors have taken 10 million free trips and saved more than $13 million as part of the city’s free seniors’ off-peak travel initiative.

Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner said the impressive milestone proved the success of the program that was introduced in October 2019.

“Everyone is feeling cost of living pressures at the moment, so we want to make it affordable for our seniors to get out and about,” Cr Schrinner said.

“This initiative was introduced around four years ago but continues to grow in popularity, with almost 2.8 million free trips taken last financial year, which is a 24 per cent year on year increase.

“During October there were more than 410,000 free off-peak trips made, which is more than 13,200 a day, making it one of the busiest months since the introduction of the program.

“This cost-saving initiative has put more than $13 million back into the pockets of our city’s seniors and this relief is something we’re committed to continuing.

“Our seniors make a huge contribution to shaping Brisbane and free off-peak travel is a simple way we can give back to those residents.”

Using a Translink senior go card or Seniors Card +go, a senior travelling in their local area once a week could save around $148 a year.  

For residents travelling on a return journey from the outer suburbs into the CBD once per week, the savings are around $181 dollars a year.  

The Gap resident Kerry Lawrence, 81, often makes use of the off-peak travel initiative to get into the city, including Council’s 50 Plus Centre classes at City Hall.

“I really appreciate senior’s free off- peak travel. I use it all the time – it saves me using the car and petrol, and of course saves money,” Ms Lawrence said.

Eva Broadbent, President of the 50 Plus Centre, said many attendees take public transport to events at the centre. 

“For our members, the location is just so ideal as they know they can just get a bus, and seniors’ free off-peak travel makes it very easy,” Ms Broadbent said.

“After going to work all their lives, it’s nice to get something back.”

Cr Schrinner said Council’s free and affordable activities gave seniors plenty of reasons to catch public transport.

“There are plenty of great reasons to chalk up some free trips, including Origami at Sandgate Library, Zumba at Zillmere, Tai-Chi at New Farm Park or stand-up paddleboarding at Manly,” he said.

“Council offers a range of health and wellbeing activities for seniors all year round, including our Growing Older, Living Dangerously (GOLD) program, which has had more than 54,000 people participating in almost 4000 events over the past year.

“Our 50 Plus Centre also offers a range of social events at City Hall including dancing and art classes for residents over 50. 

“Whether it’s visiting friends and family, or attending one of Council’s Active and Healthy activities, free off-peak travel is a safe and reliable option for getting where you need to be.” 

Free off-peak travel is available to seniors on Council buses, CityCats and ferries between 8.30am-3.30pm and 7pm-6am on weekdays. Seniors can also travel for free on Council buses on weekends and public holidays.

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