South east Queensland commuters will enjoy free train rides on four consecutive Mondays in the lead up to Christmas.
The free train travel days that will start from Monday 18 November are being offered to thank customers for their loyalty as Queensland Rail worked to restore services earlier this year.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said rail passengers deserved thanks and appreciation for standing by the service.
“We’ve seen record patronage on public transport in south east Queensland over the past two years, and that includes more people catching trains too,” Mr Bailey said.
“Commuters continued to support Queensland Rail while it embarked on a record recruitment of drivers and guards.
“That recruitment was needed to restore services that had been cut because of the LNP’s decision to sack 1700 QR workers and stop driver training in its final year in power.
“Those services are back, we’ve got more seats than ever on the network thanks to the new NGR trains, and we’re investing in station upgrades and bigger park n rides too.
“The free travel days are a well-deserved opportunity for loyal rail customers to put the money they save towards something special for Christmas.
“If you don’t usually catch the train, then these free travel days will be a perfect opportunity to give it a try and ride the Citytrain network.”
Mr Bailey said the cost of the free travel would be covered with funding that had been set aside for bonuses for senior managers at Queensland Rail.
“Queensland Rail’s board has voted to phase out performance payments, starting from the current financial year, and will work with its senior management team to implement that,” Mr Bailey said.
“In making that decision, the board supported paying $4.9 million in bonuses to about 370 eligible staff, including its executive leaders.
“Our government did not agree with that decision and directed Queensland Rail’s board to stop those payments.
“Queensland Rail has worked hard over the past 12 months to restore the community’s confidence in its services.
“On time running and key safety targets were met in the past financial year.
“The restoration of 462 weekly services and the addition of 200,000 more seats on the network for customers, as well as the re-opening the flood-damaged Mount Isa line in 12 weeks, were all achievements QR’s workers should be proud of too.
“However, it is the view of this government that bonuses for senior QR managers no longer fit with community expectations.
“The board’s decision to phase bonus payment clauses out of its executive management contracts is the right call and should be commended.”
Queensland Rail will promote details about its free travel deal for customers in the coming days.