Baird Government must reject unfair Opal increases
May 10, 2016
NSW Labor is calling on the Baird Government to reject unfair Opal fare increases which will see regular train commuters hardest hit.
Under this proposal fares will increase by an average of 4.2 per cent a year – which is more than triple the current rate of inflation.
Five-day-a-week train commuters travelling long distances (55-65km) face the biggest increase of 39 per cent over the next two years, with annual fares set to jump by up to $1,056 a year by 1 July 2018. This includes trips from Penrith and Richmond station to the CBD.
Commuters travelling from Liverpool, Toongabbie, Parramatta and East Hills to the CBD face 38 per cent increases, or $756 a year in 2018.
Free Opal card travel after eight trips will be scrapped.
The $2.50 Gold Opal ticket for seniors will also increase to $4 by 2018.
Commuters were outraged at the proposed new fare structure released by the Government late last year.
Despite the huge volume of submissions to IPART slamming the changes, a revised report today still leaves regular public transport passengers unfairly out of pocket.
The weekly travel cap of $60 will increase to $64 on July 1, before jumping to $72 by 2018.
Commuters from outer suburbs who take advantage of the daily cap will see their maximum single journey fare increase from $15 to $20 by 1 July 2018.
Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley
“At a time where wage growth in NSW is the lowest on record, the Government is moving to increase train fares by more than triple the rate of inflation.
“The $2.50 daily travel ticket for seniors is finished thanks to this Government.
“Those people who are doing the right thing catching the train to and from work every day and to meetings across the city are going to be slugged hardest.
“The cost of living pressure is real. Such a massive hike in public transport costs is just another added cost making it harder to balance the family budget.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay
“It’s cruel and unfair that commuters are set to be punished by the government for simply catching a train to and from work.
“Now is not the time to force workers from overpriced trains onto overcrowded roads.
“Why is there a focus on slugging pensioners? Seniors are often reliant on public transport, now they are faced with much higher fares.”