NEW OPAL FARE STRUCTURE SLAMS REGULAR RAIL COMMUTERS

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Five-day-a-week rail commuters will be hit the hardest under the Baird Government’s planned new Opal fare system.

The More efficient, more integrated Opal fares’ report released today by IPART recommends that the current eight-trip model be ditched and Opal commuters pay for their ten most expensive trips per week.

The decision would see commuters catching trains to and from work, five days a week forced to pay up to 48 per cent more than the current fare. 

Commuters travelling medium and long distances from Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, Hunter and Central Coast all face increases of hundreds of dollars extra per year.

For example, a commuter making five return trips from Blacktown or Liverpool to Central will pay $959 dollars per year extra. A similar commuter travelling from Penrith to Central will be hit with a $692 yearly increase. Parramatta to the CBD return jumps almost $460 a year. A table of cost increases is attached over the page.

For infrequent public transport users the report suggests that paper tickets would become 40 per cent more expensive than using an Opal card.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

 “At a time when we should be getting more people onto public transport the Baird Government is planning to make trains more unappealing and unaffordable.”

 “This is bad public policy that will result in more cars on the road as more people avoid paying hundreds of dollars more in train fares.”

“This fare structure will sting people who rely on public transport the most – commuters travelling medium and long distances from Western Sydney, the Illawarra, Hunter and Central Coast.”

 “These increases are miles above inflation. It’s yet another Christmas nasty from Mike Baird.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Ryan Park

 “The Baird Government has botched the Opal fare structure from day one. This is another hit on commuters who are already paying too much to get to work each day.”

 “For people in the Illawarra, this increase is cruel and unfair. It’s just another huge hit the Baird Government is planning for workers.”

 “We understand that some people have been doing the wrong thing and rorting the Opal system. Surely the answer isn’t to punish every commuter with higher train fares.”

Background

IPART’s report can be read here.

Analysis of weekly fares to and from Sydney CBD (Central) –

 

COMMUTER START POINT

CURRENT WEEKLY FARE*

NEW WEEKLY FARE**

DOLLAR CHANGE PER WEEK

%

CHANGE

YEARLY CHANGE

Blacktown (34.8km)

$38.56

$57

$18.44

48%

$959

Liverpool (32 km)

$38.56

$57

$18.44

48%

$959

Penrith (55km)

$51.68

$65

$13.32

26%

$692

Parramatta (23km)

$38.56

$47.40

$8.83

23%

$459

Rockdale (10.5km)

$33.60

$41.60

$8

24%

$416

Gosford  (73km)

$60

$65

$5

8%

$260

Wollongong (82km)

$60

$65

$5

8%

$260

Katoomba

(109 km)

$60

$65

$5

8%

$260

Broadmeadow

(155km)

$60

$65

$5

8%

$260

 

*Current fare is based on eight trips or $60 weekly maximum charge

** New fare is based on ten trips or increased maximum weekly charge of $65