In a controversial move, Queensland public transport service provider TransLink has now demanded that students provide them with a ‘pound of flesh’ in order to prove they are eligible to receive reduced concession fares.
For many students, receiving concession fares from TransLink became more difficult when TransLink did away with the ‘Concession’ Go Card, instead requiring students to purchase an Adult card, and provide documentation proving they are a student.
However, a spokesperson for TransLink suggested this system was ‘far too easy on students.’ In a speech given to the Queensland Parliament on this change, he suggested ‘many were able to trick the system. All it took to prove you were a student was a current student ID card - that’s absolute crap! Anyone can get one of those!’
Thus, in response, TransLink have undertaken the bold ‘pound of flesh’ test, already used by Centrelink to drug-test welfare recipients. Titled ‘Operation Fleshy Flesh,’ students will be required to manually slice off a pound of their flesh, seal it in an Esky, and deliver to TransLink headquarters in Caboolture. There, a crack team of scientists will analyse the flesh to determine whether the owner of the flesh is a genuine student, or simply an adult pathetic enough to attempt to receive concession fares.
The scientists look for a few key indicators of student flesh; high levels of stress, alcohol consumption, and saying ‘Ugh, I’m so screwed this semester!’ are widely considered to be strongly persuasive of studenthood. On the other hand, if the flesh is particularly healthy, eats a balanced diet, or shows evidence of exercise, it will typically be rejected as adult flesh.
Student advocacy groups have spoken out, calling the system ‘objectively fucking ridiculous’ - with one exception. The brave young souls at the UQ Liberal National Club have called it ‘an important move… taxpayers have suffered far too long under the crushing burden of paying for concession fraudsters, and this is what we need to shake up the system.’
The controversy continues as reports reveal if students carve off more than a pound of flesh, they will be required to pay excess charges to TransLink.