The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has released a Draft Report proposing the reduction of bus fares in rural and regional NSW.
“Public transport enables people to engage with their community and access essential services such as education, employment and health care”.
“We have proposed significantly lower fares, particularly for longer trips, to assist people to be an active part of their communities in rural and regional NSW,” said IPART Tribunal member Ms Deborah Cope.
The proposed maximum bus fares are for regional NSW for the 2021 to 2025 period. The proposed fares are up to 50% lower than the current maximums depending on the distance travelled. The proposed fares could save passengers up to 30 cents a trip on short journeys and up to $25 a trip on longer distance journeys.
“In rural and regional NSW, most trips are made using private vehicles. However, there are some people who depend on public transport to enable them to participate in society,” said Ms Cope.
“The proposed reductions make fares more consistent with those in Sydney and its surrounds, coach services provided by the NSW Government and fares for regional buses in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT,” said Ms Cope.
We have also proposed simplified and reduced fares for daily tickets.
Bus operators can continue to charge passengers using ‘on-demand’ services up to $5 extra for these services. On-demand bus services don’t have a fixed route and can take passengers door-to-door.
The report also makes recommendations to Transport for NSW for improving service delivery and contracting arrangements. Those recommendations include expanding the availability of concession fares and electronic payments.
IPART is seeking feedback on these proposals. We will hold an online public hearing on 20 October. The closing date for submissions is 30 October 2020.
Further details and a copy of the draft report are available at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.