Congestion and peak loading are key concerns for public transport agencies in Australian cities. Two fare policies, off-peak discounts and volume rebates, have been adopted in South East Queensland (SEQ) attempting to alter passengers' travel behaviour. This research examines how these two fare policies have changed passengers' travel patterns by using newly available smart card data from automated fare collection systems. The findings indicate that current off-peak discounts do not significantly alter passengers' boarding times or encourage peak spreading. Volume rebates, however, do provide incentives to encourage more use of public transport, implying that this could be a way to reduce traffic congestion should most of the additional trips be diverted from other modes. The paper concludes with suggestions for additional, more sophisticated policies to ease congestion and peak loading.
2015 Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies