Stickers will be placed over Go-card readers to ensure passengers do not pay for their journey by mistake.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner described the decision as a “thank-you” to commuters who did not abandon public transport during the pandemic but also a tactic to entice people into the city centre.
Pedestrian traffic and public transport use has plummeted over the past two years due to mask mandates and other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19.
Cr Schrinner said the “free festive bus fares” offer would run from Friday, December 10, to Sunday, December 12, and from Friday, December 17 to Sunday, December 19.
“It will mean whenever residents or visitors hop on a Brisbane City Council bus during these periods, there will be no need to use their Go-Card. Full stop,” he said.
He said foot traffic in the Queen St Mall – a key measure of the city’s commercial health – was improving as restrictions lifted but still well down on pre-Covid levels.
Business lobby the Committee for Brisbane hailed the move as a means of helping stimulate the the CBD economy.
The group’s recent Inner City Vitality report found the CBD had a vitality rating of five out of 10, competed with 6.8 out of 10 in 2019.
“Anything that brings foot traffic back into the CBD is very welcome and the Lord Mayor’s Festive Bus Fares initiative on Council’s 1200 buses is a generous and practical way to encourage people back into the city,” Committee for Brisbane chief Barton Green said.
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