University of Queensland students who use public transit to get to campus can be fined $227 if they fail to present the new Tertiary Transport Concession Card, their university ID and their Go Card while using public transport.
The Australian Students are now raising concern over the backlog of cards being issued, with many saying they are being fined even though they have properly filled out a Concession Card application.
As reported by the Queensland Times, the public transit crackdown has angered students living in the Ipswich area in particular, who have to use public transport regularly to get to Queensland’s campus. The new concession cards are a puzzling requirement for transit riders and the fines that are being assessed are adding stress to the daily commute.
Per the official TransLink website, all university and post-secondary students in Queensland are required to have the new Tertiary Transport Concession Card as proof of eligibility to purchase and travel on a concession Go Card or concession paper ticket. A concession entitles the student rider 50% off fares for approved public transport anywhere in Queensland.
The TransLink website also states that students must always have their Concession Card and student ID card with them when using public transit, and that the new Concession Card does not replace the previous Go Card or paper ticket. The Concession Card card is valid for up to 12 months, or for the length of the student’s academic course if less than 12 months.
The concern amongst students is that there is a backlog of Concession Card applications that have yet to be processed, leaving them without the proper credentials to use public transit. In the meantime the need for public transit remains constant.
As an alternative, and an attempt to skirt fines, some students are using the standard adult Go Card, while others are opting to stop using public transport altogether until their applications are processed.
An online petition has been started by University of Queensland Union president asking that fines against students cease until the backlog of Tertiary Transport Concession Cards has been processed. The petition currently has 3000 signatures.