In the face of pressure by Labor and more than one thousand community and stakeholder submissions, the Baird Government has today asked the regulator IPART for an extension of time to approve higher public transport fares.
Despite having almost four months to respond to the draft proposal, the Government has today written to IPART seeking a six-week extension.
Labor believes the Baird Government is simply buying time so that it can develop a sales pitch to public transport users facing significantly higher fares.
The release of the proposed new fare structure by the Government late last year sparked outrage amongst commuters with many facing train fare increases of up to $959 a year.
Five-day-a-week commuters travelling medium and long distances from Western Sydney, the Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra on the train are hardest hit.
The eight-trip cap is also set to be replaced by a ten-trip cap, while the $60 weekly cap on public transport fares is also predicted to rise well above CPI.
The new fare structure is due to be in place by July 1 this year.
See the table over the page for examples of the proposed fare increases.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay
“Higher fares are coming; this is the Government simply buying time.
“The Baird Government is working on its sales pitch to try and soften the blow of steep fare increases.
“Commuters are clear on this – they don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars more in fares for the same congested services.
“These fare increases are cruel and unjustified. We should be encouraging more people to use