A local MP has accused the Palaszczuk government over ‘turning a blind eye’ to fare evasion after it was revealed the number of students avoiding paying fares of Gold Coast school buses has tripled in three years.
In 2017-18, the fare evade button was pushed 763,944 times on local buses up from 238,195 in 2015-16.
The increase has cost taxpayers roughly $500,000 extra.
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Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey, said the numbers were alarming.
“The culture of not paying and cheating on paying fares has escalated in worrying numbers yet the Palaszczuk Government are doing nothing to stop it,” Ms Stuckey said.
“This trend will be impossible to curb as Labor sits on their hands and ignores a growing problem.
“This behaviour left unchecked is setting our youth on a path to petty theft and worse.
“The transport minister and the Palaszczuk Government have turned a blind eye to fare evasion for several years allowing total bus fare evasion to leap from 425,000 – 1.67 million in just three years on Surfside buses alone.
“Minor crime and car theft are out of control on the Gold Coast and our police are stretched to the limit, so busy dealing with domestic violence and other more serious offences the smaller but still serious crimes are flourishing and occurring at an alarming rate.
“We deserve more police resources and a government prepared to tackle these behaviours as they are becoming entrenched.
“Why should anyone pay for public transport when it’s so easy to cheat and not pay?