Fair public transport fares?

Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, is attributed with the statement: Any man who rides a bus to work after the age of 30 can count himself a failure in life!

In early 2014 governments were jacking up public transport fares yet again. Sydney increased rail fares by 3.5% and bus fares by 2.4%, Melbourne increased fares across the board by 2.4% and Brisbane by 7.5% (three times annual inflation).  “FARE-mageddon” quoted the Brisbane media.

Fare increases in Brisbane were reduced to 7.5% in 2013 (following the change of government), after 15% annual fare increases for a two years. Public transport patronage appears to have dropped significantly as a result.

The subsidy of the public transport farebox in Brisbane is about 73% (ie for every dollar fare that is paid by a user, the government has to kick in another 3 dollars), and this is just for operating costs.

So how do Australian public transport fares compare?

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