Public Transport Fares

Opal fares from 1 July 2020

Review completed
Start Date
Jul 2018
End Date
Feb 2020

We provided our final report and determination to the Minister for Transport on Friday 28 February. We will release the reports on our website on advice from the Minister.



IPART has received a referral to determine appropriate maximum fares for Opal services under Section 123 of the Passenger Transport Act 2014. We released an Issues Paper in April 2019 and after considering submissions and undertaking our own analysis we have now released a draft report and draft determination for consultation. 



We have made a draft decision to increase single fares by an average of 5% each year.

We have also made the following draft recommendations to the NSW Government:

  • Discounts for more passengers – Currently there are discounts for heavy public transport users, including 50% off after 8 trips in a week, and a $50 weekly cap. New passes should be introduced for passengers travelling 3-4 days a week that are discounted compared to the single fare.
  • More off-peak fares – There are currently off-peak fare for trains. Introducing off-peak fares for bus and light rail as well would reduce infrastructure costs over the long term by encouraging some passengers to travel outside the peak.
  • More integrated fares – To encourage efficient delivery and operation of the network, travel passes should be introduced so that passengers pay the same regardless if they travel on train, bus or light rail.
  • Greater access for low income passengers – Lower fare options should be available for healthcare card holders to reduce barriers to participation in the community.

Our proposed fares provide the NSW Government the opportunity to give passengers greater choice without further reductions in financial sustainability. Implementing all of our draft recommendations would increase the average fare by around 2.5% each year. 


In coming to our draft decisions and recommendations we have considered the factors in the legislation and terms of reference and all submissions received in response to our Issues Paper.

Key issues included:

  • How demand for public transport has changed in recent years and its impact on service levels and customer satisfaction.
  • The external benefits and costs of public transport use.
  • The cost of providing public transport and the need for greater efficiency to reduce these costs.
  • The affordability of public transport fares.
  • How ticketing technology has changed in recent years and how it could be used to provide a broader range of different transport fare options. 

We provide further detail, and additional analysis and considerations, in our supporting information papers and technical papers


After considering submissions and issues raised at the public hearing, we will submit a final report and final determination to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure by 28 February 2020. 


Key Contact
Ineke Ogilvy
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