Community views sought on future public transport fares

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking community views about future Opal fares for public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra.

IPART is looking at how to best set maximum annual fares to apply from July 2020 to June 2024. The NSW Government decides what actual fares will be within the maximums set by IPART.

Feedback is now being sought on proposals released last month that would allow for a maximum annual increase of 5% (about 30 cents) for single trips across all train, bus, light rail, metro and ferry services.

IPART proposed the increase to single fares to provide the government with more options to provide discounts to more regular transport users and off-peak fares to bus and light rail services without impacting the sustainability of transport services. Currently, fare revenue accounts for around a quarter of the cost of providing public transport. The remainder is funded by taxpayers – equivalent to $4,900 per household in 2018-19.

IPART Chair Dr Paul Paterson said both regular and occasional public transport passengers, as well as transport providers, and taxpayers of NSW, are encouraged to attend a public hearing at IPART’s offices on Tuesday 11 February. The public hearing will commence at 10am.

Issues to be discussed at the public hearing include stakeholders response to our proposed increase in single fares so that the NSW Government could:

  • Extend the current discounts to more passengers, such as those travelling three or four days a week or those on low incomes.
  • Integrate fares so passengers pay the same across bus, train, metro and light rail services so that passengers would no longer pay more to switch modes, and
  • Extend current off-peak train fares to bus and light rail services.

Passengers can also provide feedback by completing a short online survey or make a formal submission to the review via IPART’s website.