The current fares are set under a 5-year determination, which commenced on 1 January 2013. This determination sets out the maximum fares as at January 2013, and established that there would be annual changes to maximum fares based on the change in cost for each year after, until 2017.
Under the current determination, maximum fares increase with each 1.6 km section travelled, up to 220 sections (around 350 km). However, many bus operators charge less than the maximum fares determined by IPART.
We do not set the discount applied to pensioner or student concession fares provided or the price or availability of Regional Excursion Daily tickets, which are all subject to Government policy.
Maximum fares for rural and regional bus services will not change on 1 January 2017 for distances up to 40 km, however some bus fares for longer distances will fall by up to 20 cents.
We estimate that there has been a 0.3% reduction in the costs of providing rural and regional bus services over the past year. While a number of individual costs have increased, they were offset by a substantial fall in the cost of fuel.
We have applied a 0.3% reduction to the fares in the master fare schedule corresponding with this reduction in the costs of providing bus services. However, because all fares are rounded to 10 cents, only some fares will fall.
We estimate the percentage change in the cost of providing bus services over the previous 12 month period to June using a Bus Industry Cost Index (BICI). It is composed of a basket of bus cost items – including fuel, labour, bus costs and insurance costs. These items are weighted according to their proportion of the overall cost of providing bus services. Each cost item has a relevant ‘inflator’ from a publicly available, independent data source. For example, the change in salaries and wages is represented by change in the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s wage price index. The BICI also includes a -0.3% adjustment to account for productivity improvements.