Tasmania welcomes free bus travel during April

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AUSTRALIA

All passengers using public bus services in the Australian state of Tasmania can travel for free state-wide during April in a move designed to encourage motorists onto public transport and help with rising fuel costs.

Fares will be free across all operators, on all public and school bus services, and the offer will cover all fare types for adults, concessions and students. The Tasmanian Government said it was introducing the temporary measure to support family budgets. “Public transport is a great alternative to driving for many people, and this incentive encourages people to give it a go. We hope that trying the bus will show people how easy and convenient it can be and encourage more people to use it regularly. When you use public transport, you save money and can use your travel time doing something you like instead of focussing on the road,” it said in a statement, warning that as a result of the scheme, services might become busy and recommending that users consider travelling outside peak times.

Transport Minister Michael Ferguson told local media: “We want to help families with the cost of living with high fuel prices, but as well we see this as a great opportunity to give people the encouragement to give our buses a try. At the end of the incentive, we hope and expect that many people would have fallen in love with public transport and found it is user friendly for them. It is something the government can do. We are not able to solve the high petrol price – that’s a global phenomenon which is occurring as a direct result of what is going on in Europe at the moment.”