Thursday, 20 December 2012

How to save $430 per year on Brisbane public transport

TransLink are increasing public transport fares in Brisbane by 7.5% next year. This will raise my weekly costs to about $52.56. But there's a small hack that can change that and save money.

When travelling on a go card, you only pay for the first 9 trips you take in a week, from Monday to Sunday. So if you travel 5 zones to and from work, like I do, your Friday trip home is on the house, and you can travel free on weekends, as long as you worked five days during the week. But 5 zones is expensive, and 1 zone is much less, plus it counts as a trip. So if you go out at lunchtime and hop on a bus in the city - any bus - then travel one stop and get off again, walking back, you pay $2.63 for that pointless (off-peak) trip, which is a lot, but you will rack up another trip towards your first 9 for the week.

So on day 1, you pay $5.84 on the way to work, $2.63 for a pointless trip at lunchtime, and $5.84 home again for a total of $14.31. Do that again on Tuesday and Wednesday and your total for the week is $42.93 so far. But then, for Thursday and Friday, you travel completely free. For me, those few extra minutes and extra pointless trips will save me $9.63 - almost double what the free Friday trip home is worth. It's not a whole lot, but if you did it for every working week of the year (accounting for short weeks due to public holidays), you would save $430.99. That's quite a lot, and definitely worth it. Plus I get exercise walking to and from the bus at lunchtime instead of sitting at your computer absorbing Google radiation. It's the equivalent of nearly 74 free trips, which you would never get in a normal year.

I have allowed for three complete weeks of leave during the year and 7 weeks shortened by public holidays. On those shortened weeks, it is still worth doing this, because you would normally pay for all four days, but with the hack you pay for only three. Your savings for shortened weeks only amounts to $3.79, but that's still better than nothing.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It is worth doing this no matter what the price.
PPS - As long your 10th and following trips are free, and your commute is more than one zone.

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