SUBSIDISED rural train trips - which cost more than a flight to New York - could be shunted into history by the Queensland Government.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson last night revealed plans for a wide-ranging review of regional transport subsidies that will consider switching support from rail to bus and plane travel.
The review comes after The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed the subsidy for each passenger travelling on the Westlander between Brisbane and Charleville and the Inlander between Townsville and Mount Isa was more than $2000 a ticket.
The subsidy, which has skyrocketed in recent years as passengers ditched train travel, costs more than a plane ticket to many international destinations.
Mr Emerson last night promised to write to all regional mayors with communities potentially affected by the review.
He said the review of regional transport services was the first in six years and would seek to come up with an effective solution that reflected the changing nature of how people travel.
"We can deliver better outcomes for regional Queensland by improving regional services," Mr Emerson said. "There are some areas of the state with subsidised bus, train and plane routes while some of our most remote communities have only one service a week."
The Government subsidises 16 long-distance bus routes, five air services as well as Traveltrains.
As well as looking at reducing duplication of different subsidies, the review will also consider whether to deregulate some plane routes.
Richmond Mayor John Wharton said there was a "strong case" for reducing train services but the subsidy money must be retained for regional transport services.
"We have been down this path before with the previous Bligh government and all the mayors of the corridor agreed that if you took that money away that subsidy needs to go back into the bus and the air," he said.
Read more at The Courier-Mail.