3% rise: Bus and train fares going up

·2-min read
Someone tapping Opal card for light rail
Public transport costs in Sydney is creeping up. (Source: Getty)

Public transport fares in NSW are set to rise by 3 per cent from July 4, adding to the rising cost of living for people in Australia’s biggest state.

Australians have been dealing with fast-rising inflation - tipped to reach 7 per cent by the end of the year - with the price of groceries, petrol and housing hitting household budgets hard.

However, Transport for NSW chief operations officer Howard Collins said the fare hike would amount to “less than $1 a week” for the “vast majority” of Opal customers.

She also said the existing travel caps would remain in place, to shield heavy public transport users and pensioners from severe hikes.

This means adults will still travel free after they have spent $50 in one week on public transport.

The lower $25 weekly cap for youth and concession holders will also stay in place, as will the

$2.50 daily cap for Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal customers.

“We want our customers to continue to access affordable and convenient public transport across light rail, metro, trains, ferries and buses,” Collins said.

Transport for NSW noted the 3 per cent increase was below inflation, with Sydney seeing a 4.4 per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index over 12 months to the March quarter.

However, the rise was double the 1.5 per cent increase to public transport fares in the state last year.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal - the independent pricing regulator for water, gas, electricity and transport industries in the state - recommended a 5 per cent increase to Opal fares.

Sydney has the second-most-expensive public transport of all capital cities after Brisbane, according to the Australian Automobile Association, with the typical Sydney household spending around $50 a week on fares.

When considering all transport costs, including fuel and toll roads, the city has been crowned the most expensive city to get around, with the average Sydney’s household forking out $474.43 a week on transport costs.

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