NSW fares scrutinised

Public transport fares may be adjusted to make multi-modal journeys cheaper this year

Public transport fares may become more affordable, especially for those using more than one mode in New South Wales (NSW) from July 1 this year.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) released its draft report on New South Wales (NSW) fare changes recently.

The proposed changes mean more than 60 per cent of passengers will pay less next year for using rail, bus, ferry and light rail services and make it more affordable to use more than one mode to reach their destination.

IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall says the proposals are designed to deliver a fairer structure of fares, while ensuring fares still cover about 20 per cent of the $6 billion it currently costs to provide public transport in NSW.

"The package we’re proposing would make public transport fares more integrated by calculating fares for multi-mode journeys in the same way as for single-mode journeys, so customers could switch modes without being penalised."

Other recommendations include stronger off-peak enticements and making fares more reflective of the actual distance travelled.

"Fares would better reflect the cost of providing the services, so there would be an even bigger discount for off-peak rail travel than there is currently, while longer distance journeys would become relatively more expensive compared to shorter distances," Boxall says.

"We are also proposing to reduce the number of free trips enjoyed by some, so more passengers can access lower fares without further increasing the burden on taxpayers."

IPART is now seeking feedback on its draft fare reform package before a final report is released.

Submissions will be accepted until February 5 and the new fares will come into effect on July 1 this year.

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