NSW pay more to connect

New South Wales public transport fare review may reduce cost of multi-mode journeys

New South Wales fare review may make public transport cheaper for those using more than one mode by July 2016.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) want to hear people’s ideas on how fares should be structured, following the introduction of Transport for NSW’s Opal Card electronic ticketing system about one year ago.

The review will look into fares across all modes including rail, bus, ferry and light rail services and in regional, as well as metropolitan areas of NSW.

Passengers that switch modes to make a single journey in NSW currently pay a lot more than those catching more than one service using only buses or only trains.

It currently costs $4.50 for a 25-kilometre journey made in the peak using only buses, $4.82 using only trains, but can cost $7.70 if the same passenger uses a train and a bus.

IPART chairman Peter Boxall says the review will consider a range of options, with a particular focus on if fares should be more integrated across the different modes.

"With the roll-out of Opal electronic ticketing now largely complete, there is an opportunity to consider a range of fare options that were previously not practical under paper tickets and look at where improvements should be made," he says.

"We are looking at not only how much passengers should pay, but also whether charges should be based on the type of transport used, the time a journey occurs, the distance travelled and how often it is used."

One possible option includes setting the same fare for travelling the same distance, regardless of the type of transport used.

Another is to extend off-peak travel to buses, ferries and light rail. At the moment, this only applies to trains.

Also incentives for travel outside of peak times could be increased for Opal concession card holders.

An online survey can be found on the IPART website and will be open until August 28, which is also the closing date for formal submissions.

Proposed fares will be released for public comment in December before the final determination is delivered to the NSW Government in March next year, with any new fares to come into effect on July 1 next year.

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