NSW Opal fares to increase by 2.2 per cent

Commuters are set to pay more to travel on NSW’s public transport network, with Opal fares to jump by 2.2 per cent.

The increase, worth an average 39 cents a week, will kick in from July 2.

The rise, however, won’t affect seniors and pensioners, with Gold Opal prices to remain at $2.50 for all day travel any day of the week.

A train trip from Penrith to Town Hall, for example, will go up by 15 cents, while a ferry ride from Manly to Circular Quay will rise 16 cents.

A week’s worth of travel for an adult will be capped at $63.20, up from $61.60.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the increase was in line with inflation, and well short of the NSW pricing regulator’s recommendation.

The official inflation rate for the 12 months to March was 1.9 per cent, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show, but most economists expect the rate to rise above two per cent later in the year.

“We’ve had five years of fare freezes and now we’re just starting to adjust it in line with the cost of living,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal had proposed a 4.2 per cent rise in transport fares.

But Mr Constance assured travellers won’t be slugged down the track to make up the difference.

He noted there had been an 11 per cent increase in patronage on Sydney trains in the past year.

“The more people who are using public transport we can obviously on a customer basis lower the cost,” he said.

The 30 per cent discount on regional bus fares in parts of the state that don’t use the Opal system, announced by the government earlier this year, will be kept.

Australian Associated Press

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