O’Farrell tries to fool the innumerate
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has claimed that NSW public transport fares will rise by 3.4%, driving commuters back into cars. He reckons that Treasury modelling suggests commuters will pay up to $150 per year more.
Hmmm. Let’s do the math. $150 per week as 3.4% of an annual travel bill suggests his highest paying commuters are forking over $4,400 per year. If someone travels to work 5 days a week, has 4 weeks off, that’s about $20 per day. Just the price of a full fare daily multi ticket.
But wait, what if they are a rational traveller and get a weekly ticket? That’s 48 x $57 or $93 extra a year. But wait, what if they are a really rational traveller and get an annual ticket at $2,180 per year? That’s an extra $74 per year, half Barry’s claim.
But wait, Federal Treasury modelled an increase of 0.5% for public transport. That’s $11 for our annual ticket buyer. Big difference between that and $150. What if we split the difference: state versus federal? That would be $48, still less than $1 a week on an annual fare.
Doesn’t the NSW Treasury model rational consumers any more? Or is Barry just entertaining a bit of hyperbole, hoping that no-one can add up?