Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance has announced there’ll be no increase to set fares for Opal card customers this year, meaning these fares won’t have increased on trains and ferries since January 2015 or on buses and light rail since 2014.
The following structure of the Opal card fare system will not change:
· Current Opal card fares and fare bands remain the same
· No changes to the Opal card daily, weekly or Sunday fare caps
· No changes to the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card eligibility criteria or to the daily fare cap of $2.50
Mr Constance said while the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal had recommended a raft of changes or increases to fares, structure and benefits, it was important that price shocks weren’t too dramatic for commuters.
“I can confirm today the daily fare cap for our seniors and pensioners will be kept at $2.50,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re also keeping the Adult Opal card daily fare cap at $15.00 and weekly fare cap at $60.00. That means people who travel long distances and reach the cap won’t be paying more for their commutes.
“Opal card customers will not see any increase or change to single fares or the fare bands that determine the fare for distance travelled. People who travel irregularly on their Opal card will pay the same as they do now or less if they change modes on their usual journey.
We are however adopting the recommendation to change the Opal weekly travel reward system. Instead of free travel after 8 paid journeys, customers will receive a 50% discount on fares after 8 paid journeys during a week.
“Around 70% of customers are not reaching the reward, meaning a majority of customers aren’t receiving any benefit,” Mr Constance said.
“By offering half price fares, we’ll still provide an incentive to use public transport but the new reward strikes a balance to allow a more sustainable system.”
IPART’s report also made a recommendation to introduce a higher discount for people who travel on the train in the off-peak. The Government will keep the current off-peak discount of 30% in place.
“While I acknowledge the merit in encouraging more people to travel outside of peak times, there wasn’t enough evidence to show an increase in the already generous off-peak discount would encourage more people to travel in off-peak,” Mr Constance said.