Tuesday, 02 February 2016 14:26

Opal card changes will encourage driving; WSROC

Train conductor waves white flag while train pulls out from platform. Train conductor waves white flag while train pulls out from platform.

Media release, 1 February 2016

IPART’s proposed changes to the Opal fee system will encourage more Western Sydney residents to drive, according to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC).

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “The proposed changes to the Opal system unfairly burden long-distance commuters; exactly the people we want to entice away from road travel.”

“When the Opal card was introduced the cap on distances, and in particular, the free journey bonus was distinctly celebrated as an incentive for commuters to use public transport,” he said.

“Removing these incentives leaves little enticement for regular travellers to make the switch to public transport; in some cases it may result in a return to driving,” he said.

“For Penrith residents working full-time in the city, the weekly train fare will jump to $75.50 (up $23.82 per week)[1].

“In Sydney’s south west, changes in the Opal structure will increase the cost of travelling by train from Liverpool to the city from $38.68 to $57.00 per week,[2]” he said.

“While the Opal pricing system may need to be reviewed, increasing the cost of travel for regular and long-distance users seems counterproductive,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“The NSW Government should be doing everything in its power to entice long-distance commuters on to public transport. The more people who catch trains, buses and ferries, the less congestion there will be on our roads for those who need to drive,” he said.

“Reducing the number of people driving from the outer west to the CBD has significant system benefits. It not only means less traffic in the city, but also at each pinch-point along the way,” he said.

“It is time for road tolls and public transport pricing to be looked at together; as a complete, integrated transport system,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“We hope the NSW Government will consider the implications for Sydney’s entire transport network when reviewing the recommendations put forward by IPART,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

[ENDS]


Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333, 04 2587 1868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Submissions regarding IPART’s draft Opal fare reform package can be made via the IPART website until 5th February, 2016.

Alternatively contact IPART on 1300 103 271 or 029290 8400 for further information.



[1] Based on the cost of a peak hour trip from Penrith to Central Station. Current costs include a $6.46 charge each way with a free travel bonus after eight trips ($51.68). Proposed costs include $7.55 charge each way for 10 journeys ($75.50). Charges as per IPART’s December 2015 report available from: http://bit.ly/1ZXb39o 

[2] Based on the cost of a peak hour trip from Liverpool to Central Station. Current costs include a $4.86 charge each way with a free travel bonus after eight trips ($38.56). Proposed costs include a $5.70 charge each way for 10 journeys ($57.00). Charges as per IPART’s December 2015 report available from: http://bit.ly/1ZXb39o  

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 14:35

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