Bus customers across the Northern Rivers will see bus fares drop by up to 30 per cent following the NSW Government’s introduction of a new fare structure for regional bus operators.
Welcoming the news, Northern Rivers Nationals MPs Ben Franklin, Chris Gulaptis, Thomas George & Geoff Provest said the NSW Government asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review bus fares in regional and rural areas in February last year to ensure services were delivering the best value for money for our customers.
The MPs said IPART’s review found fares were higher than what customers were willing to pay, resulting in lower patronage on regional services and these changes are a win for customers and operators.
“We’ve implemented a simpler fare structure in response to the Tribunal’s recommendations,” the MP’s said.
“By dropping the price of the maximum fare, we hope to make bus services more appealing to local residents and encourage higher patronage numbers which means a boost for local operators.”
The new pricing structure will introduce 10 standard fare bands, which will apply across regional and rural NSW. The maximum adult fare for a short trip of 3 kilometres will be set at $2.30, while any trip longer than 200 kilometres will have a maximum fare of $48.20.
A new Daily Ticket which will provide customers with unlimited travel within certain sections within a day will also be introduced. Daily adult tickets will start at $6.90 for short trips while eligible concession holders will pay half the adult fare.
The MP’s said the Government was still committed to upholding the discounts already in place for pensioner and senior concession card holders confirming the Regional Excursion Daily (RED) ticket for pensioners and seniors will remain at $2.50.
RED tickets are accepted by more than 600 local bus operators in regional centres around NSW including some school bus routes and there’s no limit to how often you can purchase RED tickets, eligible customers can travel with one every day if they need to.
The Government will also continue to investigate other recommendations from the IPART review such as restructuring services to better match emerging needs, including on demand services and improving operator cost efficiency.