Why over 60s around Australia are saying no to buses and how it affects us all 86

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If you are one of the many older people who use public transport to get around, how do you feel about the service you’re getting?

The news from Brisbane this week isn’t good for those of us who have no choice but to use public transport. Bus figures have plummeted in Brisbane according to a new report released by Brisbane City Council.

Brisbane City Council’s Annual Report 2014-2015, shows bus passenger numbers have dropped by 2.2 million year on year, following a drop of almost one million last year. This would appear to indicate that more and more of us are dissatisfied with service we’re receiving.

This isn’t just bad news for public transport users, it’s bad news for all of us. Fewer people using the bus means more cars on the road. One reason for people jumping off buses and into cars could be fares?  The perception of passengers is that public transport is simply unaffordable.

Brisbane City Council is making an investment of $114.4 million into public bus and ferry services this financial year and they say they are investing nearly $45 million into public transport infrastructure, for new buses, wheelchair accessible bus stop upgrades, the CityCat re-life program and ferry terminal upgrades. But will this spend address the problems of older travellers?

The bad news isn’t confined to Brisbane. When older travellers were interviewed earlier this year for an audit commissioned by the National Roads & Motorists’ Association in Sydney, the story wasn’t a rosy one.

Older people are more reliant on public transport but it doesn’t seem to be serving them well, and there’s a lot to complain about. Inconsiderate passengers, slippery platforms, selfish schoolchildren and guillotine-like ticket gates were among the top public transport gripes.

The audit was done to identify potential public transport problems facing older or less mobile travellers, and to provide advice to the NSW government on how services could be improved to meet these people’s needs in the future.

Other complaints that the report uncovered were speedy set-down times on buses and trains, slippery platforms and handrails, platforms and bus shelters which provided no protection from the elements were also listed, along with indecipherable announcements and the ever present danger of school bags dumped in the middle of the aisles of buses and trains.

Are our public transport systems serving us well? What would you like to see: more frequent services, lower fares, more considerate service? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Drivers who go round corners like Stirling Moss dont help slide off the seat and into aisle

    2 REPLY
    • We pay a fee for public transport on our rates but have absolutely none. I phoned the local council & asked for a timetable for our non existent buses & they directed me to their web site. Could it be that they don’t know we don’t have any?

  2. Buses in adelaide are disgusting,so many very old and not user/disabled friendly. Drivers drive like maniacs,foot on and off throttle hence constant jerking,not good foranyone.

  3. Love using buses here in QLD / most of the drivers are pleasant and I cannot believe that 99.9 percent of commuters thank the driver when alighting / nearly all teenagers here do this also / i see this as I’m normally sitting in front seat / I have come across two unpleasant drivers only / one was a women who shouldn’t have has a license / also with a go card fares are cheaper xx love traveling by bus here / Sydney commuters should take a leaf out of QLD commuters book / rarely hear a thank you when on buses there x

    4 REPLY
    • I agree with you Angelene – mostly the drivers are pleasant and with a service every 15 minutes I could not ask for more. The occasional person races me to a seat, but good manners can’t be legislated. I do wish that we could have $2.50 all day travel a they have in Sydney. When I visit there I travel far and wide on my pensioners ticket.

    • You must have a seniors go card because it is very expensive to travel in Brisbane if you don’t get a concession. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was when I first got my seniors go card. I always travel non peak and if I go into town and back within two hours it only costs me one fare.

    • I travel on busses every day in Sydney and believe me it’s more uncommon for passengers NOT to thank the driver including the school kid’s

  4. Buses are not user friendly particularly for older people. I can imagine it being a nightmare for some that have to use them.

  5. I like the bus, the drivers are polite and one can sit up and look around at the scenery, can’t do that in a car

  6. I have always found public transport a very enjoyable experience.they are always on time and the drivers are always pleasant and as a pensioner it is very reasonably priced. You just cannot please some people !!

  7. Fffffollow perths example free transport between 9am to 3.30 pm weekdays and free weekends and public holidays for disability and age pension. All our buses have on off ramps for prams and wheelchairs

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