Commuters travelling from the Upper North Shore will be hardest hit by planned changes to train fares by the Baird Government.
IPART is recommending that the current eight-trip model be ditched and Opal commuters pay for their ten most expensive journeys per week.
Implementing these fares would see people travelling to and from work five-days-a-week by train forced to pay up to 48 per cent more.
Commuters travelling from Hornsby to Bondi Junction and Mount Kuring-Gai to Town Hall face yearly increases of $959 per year (see table).
These changes would come into effect July this year.
In addition, the planned changes would increase the daily cap for Gold Opal Card users and force some seniors off the Gold Opal Card altogether.
The current $2.50 daily cap for Gold Opal card users will increase by 60 per cent to $4.00 by 2018.
IPART is recommending that seniors who do not claim the pension be forced off the Gold Opal card and onto the regular concession card.
The daily cap on concession cards is $9.00 meaning seniors who do not claim the pension will have their daily fare increase from $2.50 to $9.00 on 1 July 2016 – that is an increase of 260 percent.
The NSW Opposition’s urging the Baird Government to scrap unfair changes to the Opal fare system which will leave commuters travelling from the Upper North Shore severely out of pocket.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Ryan Park
“At a time when we should be getting more people onto public transport the Baird Government is planning to make trains more unaffordable.
“This is bad public policy that will result in more cars on the road as people avoid paying hundreds of dollars more in train fares.”
Quotes attributable to Duty MLC for Hornsby Greg Donnelly
“It’s cruel and unfair that commuters in travelling from Hornsby are set to be punished by the government for simply catching a train to and from work.
“A yearly increase of $959 on the cost of catching public transport to work is ridiculous.”
New Opal fare impact on train journeys from Hornsby and Mount Kuring-Gai
|ORIGIN||DESTINATION||CURRENT WEEKLY FARE*||NEW WEEKLY FARE**||WEEKLY INCREASE||YEARLY INCREASE||INCREASE AS A %|
|Mount Kuring-Gai||Town Hall||$38.56||$57.00||$18.44||$958.88||48%|
*Current fare is based on eight trips or the $60 weekly maximum charge
** New fare is based on ten trips or the increased maximum weekly charge of $65