Is Public Transport The New Easiest Way To Save?

Can you imagine a world where you can go to and from work for just $5 a week? In Queensland, we can, and it’s happening.
Last modified: 21st June 2024
Hope Turner  |  

Soon, in 2024, Queenslanders can expect to pay only a 50-cent flat rate for public transport, no matter the journey. This is thanks to a new initiative by the QLD Government starting August 5th: They’re cutting the costs of public transport for commuters.

This initiative is in place to alleviate the congestion on QLD roads and help with the cost-of-living crisis.

On this page:

  • What this initiative means
  • Current commuting costs
  • Rental crisis and commuting
  • Working from home changes
  • Perks of public transport

What this initiative means

Queensland Premier Steven Miles announced in May 2024 that, from 5 August 2024, all public transport fares will be slashed to $0.50 per trip.

This initiative will be part of a six-month trial to see if it helps drive down (pun intended) the cost of living and encourage residents to use public transport.

With the cost of living at the forefront of most Aussies' minds, this change could really make a difference to their hip pockets. With the current Translink prices sitting at a whopping $21.48 if you’re travelling 8 zones during peak times. That’s over $40 every day if you’re making the commute.

This initiative could end up saving the average Aussie household around $100/week. 

“For someone catching the train to work in Brisbane from here in Mango Hill it costs up to $96* a week, Mr Miles said.

“And if you drive to work, you’re stuck in peak hour traffic every day and paying a lot more than that. It’s why I’m making all public transport fares a flat 50 cents – no matter where you live, your mode of travel, or how far you go.

“It’s as close to free as you can get.

“From 5 August 2024, that same trip from Mango Hill to the City and back would only cost $5 for the whole week – that’s nearly $90* back in your pocket every week.

“I expect this will save Queenslanders thousands of dollars over six months, and encourage more people to catch our fast, frequent and 50 cent public transport.”

The Queensland Government is also slashing 20% off car regos in August as well, which will save people at least $84 if they drive a 4-cylinder. So even if you start catching the train, you could still be saving money on your weekend commutes with your car.

Current commuting costs

With fuel prices being near the highest they’ve ever been and just continuing to rise, the cost of getting to work has never been greater. Studies show Aussies are currently spending, on average $20 per day just going to and from work. That’s over $5,000 a year!

With over 70% of people taking a car to work and a mere 20% catching public transport, it’s no wonder it takes the average Queenslander over an hour to commute to and from work. 

That, coupled with all the roadworks popping up everywhere, means commuting via car is quickly becoming a much less convenient option for many.

According to a study by Budget Direct in 2023, 40% of people think commuting to work is the main downside to working in person, in terms of both cost and the time.

Rental crisis and commuting

Higher fuel and transport prices combined with rising rental costs have resulted in an influx of people moving out of the inner-city regions to cheaper suburbs. Around 57% of people moved further out purely to save money. This means that for a lot of people, their commute to work would’ve also changed.

Working from home changes

According to Budget Direct, 15% of Aussies prefer working from home purely to avoid the commute to the office. In Australia, we’ve seen a dramatic spike in the number of working from home since the pandemic. However, in 2023, we saw a downward pushback to in-person working, from 40% to around 37%, from employers wanting their staff back in the office and people just wanting the social aspect back after COVID-19. Working from home saw a spike to 40% in 2021, as opposed to around 30% pre-pandemic.

Perks of public transport

So, if the cost of living and constant traffic is getting you down, now could be the time to switch to public transport. Grab your book, put on some headphones, and relax, knowing that you’re saving money by making a simple switch (and not getting stuck behind an L plate every day!).

We’ve put together a little list of things you can do on the bus or train to help you pass the time, as well as reminders of why this could be the right decision for you!

  • SAVING MONEY ($1/day, you can’t even get a Maccas soft serve for that anymore)
  • More consistent travel times (for trains)
  • No delays for crashes/construction (for trains)
  • Time to sit back and relax
  • Get a kick start on your day on your way to work
  • Catch up on some reading
  • Watch an episode of your favourite TV show depending on travel time
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Take a nap. Just remember to set an alarm to get off!

Of course, public transport still isn’t readily available for everyone, but if you can find a way to incorporate it into your daily commute, you could reap the benefits!

Try our new Finance Fundamentals course!

If you find yourself with some more time in your day on the bus or train, download our new Better Credit app and try our free Finance Fundamentals course!

Finance Fundamentals is a series of 7 short video modules – about 30 to 60 seconds long – with an answer to one or two multi-choice questions at the end of each one.

These everyday topics are vitally important if you ever plan on applying for finance. As many as 73% of Australians don’t know their credit score, and 6% don’t even know what one is!

Written by - Hope Turner

Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Hope is Jacaranda’s Marketing & Communications Coordinator. With several years of copywriting experience specialising in Social Media content, she is responsible for writing and updating website content and articles, updating social media, and everything in between!

You can get in touch with Hope via
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