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Tuesday 10 May 2016

Proposed transport fare increases released today by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal would see prices rise well above inflation, making access to transport harder for many - particularly those on low incomes according to the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS).

NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe said with inflation at historic lows (1.3%), there is no argument for hikes of 13% over three years. 

“This, combined with proposed increases from $15 to $18 to the daily adult cap on fares, would have a big impact, particularly on people who live long distances from the Sydney CBD and other central locations, such as those who live in outer Western Sydney or the Central Coast.

“$3 per day adds up quickly and if you’re struggling to make ends meet already, that’s a lot of extra money to find out of nowhere.”

Ms Howe said while there was some good news for Gold Opal card users there was also some pain.

“We are very pleased to see IPART has dumped its proposal to restrict Gold Card eligibility to Centrelink recipients only, and maintained its current availability.

“However, we're concerned that IPART has stuck to its recommendation to increase the Gold Card daily cap and that the proposal to fix the cap to adult fares will mean that prices will go up by more than the rate of inflation over coming years. 

“Increasing the cost of travel for seniors, people with disability, and refugees, will see many priced out of the transport system.  This will have an adverse impact on those who need public transport to get to appointments, and engage in social and community activities.

“Transport is an integral part of our society, and restricted access to its use will have a significant impact, particularly on some of our more vulnerable communities.

“We should be aiming for a system that enables greater participation in life, rather than one that presents barriers to opportunity and independence.”