Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide fans are set to pay to use the popular Footy Express bus, train and tram services after it was revealed the free public transport scheme could be transitioned to a “user pays” system.
After being questioned in a parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee, Transport Chief Jon Whelan admitted he wants a “user pays” model in place for the next season.
The shock move comes as South Australia’s inflation rate skyrockets from 4.7% to 6.4% today. The increase is the largest in the nation.
It was also confirmed talks are underway with the Adelaide and Port Adelaide Football Clubs about funding the scheme, as they are starting to set their ticket prices for 2023.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Vincent Tarzia said he fears this means fans will have to fork out hundreds of extra dollars a year for the Footy Express.
“No matter which way you slice or dice this new arrangement, it’s South Australian football fans that will ultimately be paying the price,” Mr Tarzia said.
“Thousands of South Australian families rely on the free Footy Express to get to Adelaide Oval to watch the game they love and now that’s at risk.
“Right now, we’re in the grips of a cost of living crisis, and this might just make the difference on whether families can afford to get to a game or not.
“Peter Malinauskas has unfairly lobbed a cost of living grenade at our local AFL teams, which are still recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic, which means shifting costs to the clubs will no doubt result in higher membership fees.
“The reality is if you are a Crows or Power fan and this is implemented, you’re going to be charged more.”