Public transport will be a free for all in the South East on Saturday, thanks to the debacle that the AFL womens grand final has become.
The AFL's decided not to issue tickets for the game, in hopes of a big crowd.
That's all well and good BUT it's created what could be a $400,000 problem for Translink -
Because of the lack of tickets, public transport staffers won't be able to tell who is on their way to the game and who isn't. It's forced Transport Minister Jackie Trad to make all public transport free for all passengers ALL DAY.
She spoke with Marto, Ed and Robin this morning.
"What we normally do is provide free public transport to major sporting events. On Saturday, we have another 3 events (the Lions vs Suns after the womens game, the Titans vs Cowboys at CBUS Stadium, the Roar vs Melb Victory at Suncorp) as well as the historic womens AFL grand final so there's going to be lots of people on the network, travelling for free"
"What we want to do is make sure as many Queenslanders as possible take part in this historic occasion. This is the first time an AFL grand final has been played outside of Victoria and we want as many people as possible to go down and cheer on the Lions' womens team to see them make history right here in Queensland"
"This is an historic moment. The AFL is expecting at least 10,000 people, but I hope it's a lot more"
Robin questioned why a passenger travelling, say, Roma Street to Caboolture should ride for free -
"Well, part of the issue here is that the womens AFL grand final is not a ticketed event so being able to extract those people who are travelling the network to get the game is pretty difficult, or almost impossible"
"You have to remember some people use the City Cat (for example), in order to connect to other transport modes in order to get to the Gold Coast. There'll be people from the northside or even the Sunshine Coast who want to go to the city to meet a friend and then go down"
'WHAT? You're joking, aren't you" was Marto's reaction.
"When you guys make these decisions, do you remember it's not your money?"
Hear the Minister's response: