From 5 September this year Opal fares will change to deliver fairer public transport prices, encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and use multiple modes of public transport. Fares will also be frozen until July 2017.
A new $2 transfer discount will apply to adult Opal customers who change modes of transport within an hour, as part of the same journey. Child/youth, concession and Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card customers will receive a $1.00 transfer discount.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said that customers who interchanged during their journey paid more than those who stayed on the same mode to reach their destination.
“This penalty is simply a disincentive to multi-mode travel, even if the transfer is more practical and gets you to your destination faster,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re now making it cheaper to change between trains, buses, ferries and light rail. Ultimately, we want people on public transport and out of their cars.”
Mr Constance said the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal had recommended a raft of changes or increases to fares, structure and benefits.
“I can confirm the daily fare cap for our seniors and pensioners will be kept at $2.50,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re also keeping the Adult Opal card daily fare cap at $15.00 and weekly fare cap at $60.00. That means people who travel long distances and reach the cap won’t be paying more for their commutes.
Mr Constance said the NSW Government was adopting the recommendation to change the Opal weekly travel reward system. Instead of free travel after eight paid journeys, customers will receive a 50 per cent discount on fares after eight paid journeys during a week.
“Around 70 per cent of customers are not reaching the reward, meaning a majority of customers aren’t receiving any benefit,” Mr Constance said.
“By offering half price fares, we’ll still provide an incentive to use public transport but the new reward strikes a balance to allow a more sustainable system.”