BETTER DEAL FOR COMMUTERS WHO USE BOTH BUSES AND TRAINS
Written on the 24 May 2016 by Kevin ConollyMember for Riverstone, Mr Kevin Conolly MP, today said that public transport fares will be more affordable for people whose journey involves two modes of transport.
The NSW Government has announced that switching between trains, buses, ferries and light rail will become cheaper for thousands of Opal card users with the removal of the current penalty when commuters change transport modes.A new $2 'transfer discount' will be given every time an Adult Opal card user changes modes of transport within an hour, as part of the same journey.
"We're no longer penalising commuters who use multiple forms of public transport to get around. This change is about getting people out of their cars and onto public transport", Mr Conolly said."A trip to work is one trip, even if you have to use both a bus and a train to get there. The fares now will reflect that."
Mr Conolly also said there will be no increase to Opal card fares for commuters until July 2017.The Government will keep the daily cap for seniors and pensioners at $2.50, plus the daily, weekly and Sunday fare caps for adult, child/youth and concession customers will remain at their current rates.
"For the large number of commuters in the Riverstone electorate who rely on public transport this is great news, as they haven't seen Opal card fares change on trains since January 2015 or buses since 2014. This effectively delivers commuters a 30 to 40 month fare freeze across public transport" said Mr Conolly.The NSW Government is, however, adopting the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal's recommendation to change the Opal weekly travel reward system. Instead of free travel after eight paid journeys, commuters will receive a 50% discount on fares after eight paid journeys during a week.
"Some people were 'gaming' the system, blowing out the cost of the reward scheme. Only about 30% of commuters have been accessing the free trips benefit while the other 70% have been paying for it. That's neither fair nor sustainable," Mr Conolly said."By offering half price fares, we're still providing all customers with access to a generous weekly travel reward but at the same time, we're making sure the system is sustainable into the future".
The changes announced will commence on Monday 5 September 2016.
Author: Kevin Conolly
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