Transport Fares

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Under the Passenger Transport Act 2014, the Minister of Transport and Roads can ask IPART to determine maximum Opal fares that can be charged for all rail, bus, ferry and light rail fares used in Sydney and surrounds.  In our most recent 2016 review, we determined that fares could increase by an average of 4.2% per year between July 2016 and June 2019.

Within this fare cap, the NSW Government sets individual Opal fares and other terms and conditions of travel, such as discounts for off-peak travel, and frequent travel.  IPART checks that the fares proposed by the NSW Government do not exceed the maximums allowed. Between July 2016 and June 2019, the NSW Government has increased fares by an average of 2.4% per year.

In February IPART completed the review for Opal fares from 1 July 2020. Our final report and findings have now been released.

In setting fares, we must consider:

  • the cost of providing the services
  • the need for greater efficiency in the supply of services so as to reduce costs for the benefit of consumers and taxpayers
  • the protection of consumers from abuses of monopoly power in terms of prices, pricing policies and standards of service
  • the social impact of the determination or recommendation
  • the impact of the determination or recommendation on the use of the public passenger transport network and the need to increase the proportion of travel undertaken by sustainable modes such as public transport
  • standards of quality, reliability and safety of the services (whether those standards are specified by legislation, agreement or otherwise)
  • the effect of the determination or recommendation on the level of Government funding
  • any matter specified in the referral to IPART
  • any other matter IPART considers relevant.

We undertake extensive public consultation through our review processes to understand the range of stakeholder views, and consider these views alongside the findings of our economic modelling and analysis.

IPART does not determine concession policies for public transport services, including pensioner and regional ‘excursion tickets’ and any concession tickets on rail, ferry or buses.  These policies are set by the NSW  Government. 



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