University students and apprentices should receive free off-peak travel on all public transport. Although there is an existing student concession it is not sufficient in terms of providing all tertiary students with the means of accessing tertiary education providers.
Taking into consideration that the majority of full time students have no time to work and earn a wage, they rely on a student allowance which they receive from the government through studylink. The maximum you can receive from a student allowance for a single student aged between 18-24 is $210.13 after tax. Additionally you can also apply for living costs as part of your student loan, the amount you can receive from this is up to $176.86. Making the maximum income for an unemployed single tertiary student $386.99. Although that seems like quite a decent sum, when you take into consideration that the maximum amount is mainly approved for those students living out of home the more realistic amount you may receive from living costs is about half that. Now if you factor in that most students also have to pay for rent or board which on average is $170 and can be up to $400 when living in or around the city. That’s between $220.80 – 450.80 a week in essential expenses already, not including any additional expenses such as food costs and utilities bills such as internet, power and water.
By making off peak travel free for tertiary students it would make it more affordable for them to live and pursue their studies without extreme financial stress. The cost of living is simply too high as it stands.