ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, today announced that the ACT Government will provide assistance to families of students living in Oaks Estate and Hall by ensuring that they pay the same level of bus fares as other children in the ACT.

“I have received a number of representations and calls on talk back radio about the significant increase in the student term ticket prices for students who travel to schools in the ACT on Deane’s buses,” the Chief Minister said.

“To ensure that all ACT students benefit from our reduced student fares when they travel to school, I have decided that those students who live in Oaks Estate and Hall should not be disadvantaged as a result of living in these villages that are within the ACT.

“This decision means that families who have paid for school term tickets to travel on Deane’s buses will be reimbursed the difference between ACT student fares and the Deane’s ticket prices from the date the new prices came into effect.  This policy, which includes free travel for students who are eligible for the Student Transport Program, will also apply for any future fare increases and will take into account the ACTION student fare at that time,” the Chief Minister said.

The ACT Government, through the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate, expects to have the details of this new policy finalised by the end of September 2012, and will be in touch with Oaks Estate and Hall families about the process for the reimbursement of money that they have paid since the start of term 3 this year.

“The current cross border public transport trial that allows for lower fares on Deane’s off-peak services from Queanbeyan into the ACT, was developed as part of the Eastern Regional Transport Taskforce following the ACT-NSW Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Collaboration that I signed with NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell after a meeting on 2 December 2011.

“The ACT Labor Government will continue to work on our regional relationships to ensure that cross border public transport is both affordable and accessible,” the Chief Minister concluded.