Wollongong train commuters are set to be hit by a 20 per cent increase in Opal fares.
The NSW Government announced a short-term ‘freeze’ on Opal fares just weeks prior to the last federal election.
But the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure has refused to say when the increase in Opal fares will kick in following approval by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).
Opal fares did increase by 12.5 per cent in September when the Government removed the free journeys when commuters took eight trips.
IPART had approved three years of fare increases to 2018 including:
- Senior’s Gold Card daily cap from $2.50 to $4;
- Weekly Travel Cap from $60 to $72; and
- Daily Cap from $15 to $20.
An Opal fare increase of 20 per cent will mean an annual increase of $624.00 for a commuter travelling from Wollongong to Central Station.
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“Wollongong train commuters are set to cop it in the neck with a hefty Opal fare increase, which the NSW Government won’t come clean on.
“The Government announced a short-term ‘freeze’ on the IPART approved increases just before the last federal election.
“Any increase in Opal fares as approved by IPART will place additional financial pressure on commuters who use public transport to get to and from work every day, and who are already squeezed into overcrowded carriages on the South Coast Line.
“Wollongong commuters are set to pay a hefty increase in fares, for overcrowded carriages and often unreliable services on a train line to Sydney, which is slow and will soon reach its capacity.
“The NSW Government already has the unenviable record of being the highest taxing and spending government in our history.”