Inner-city commuters hit by hefty fare shake-up

From today's SMH here

Inner-city commuters hit by hefty fare shake-up


February 2, 2010

LONG-DISTANCE travellers are the winners in a massive shake-up of public transport fares, with the cost of some train journeys halved and standard
ticketing for public and private buses.

But government bus and ferry commuters in inner and middle suburbs of Sydney face hefty price hikes of up to $300 a year as almost 200
different types of fares are streamlined to 30, under the new MyZone
fare structure announced by the state government yesterday.

Intercity commuters from the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Central Coast, Southern Highlands and Illawarra will pay no more than $7.80 for a single fare
to the city, $56 for a weekly ticket or $57 for an unlimited
multi-modal ticket.

A weekly ticket from the Newcastle suburb of Wallsend to Central by bus and train halves from $118.40 to $57; Kiama to Central will cost $56 a week, down from $69;
and Penrith to Central drops from $54 a week to $47.

But the $35-a-week Blue Travelpass - which covers commuters as far south as La Perouse, Rockdale and Hurstville, as far north as Ryde and
Chatswood, as far west as Croydon and as far east as Bondi and Watsons
Bay - will no longer exist.

In its place, the government will introduce a $41 MyMulti travelpass - an increase of almost 20 per cent.

The Premier, Kristina Keneally, said the maximum fare would be capped at $57 a week, regardless of where or how often a passenger travels on the

FerryTen inner harbour fares will rise 23 per cent, from $33.50 to $41, as the higher discount on ferry tickets is brought into line with buses and trains.

''This new simplified structure means fairer fares,'' Ms Keneally said.

The changes are understood to be partly aimed at voters in marginal seats on the Central Coast and in western and southern Sydney who travel more
than 35 kilometres each way.

But the price rises will hit voters in the marginal Labor seats of Balmain, Marrickville, Drummoyne and Coogee, the seat of Sydney, held by Clover Moore, and
safe Labor seats of Strathfield, Maroubra and Heffron, held by the

The Transport Minister, David Campbell, said the system would cost the government $33 million a year in lost revenue but ''we will attract patronage and that will reduce our cost''.

''Commuters will also have the convenience of purchasing monthly tickets online and mailed to their home,'' he said.

However, the opposition leader, Barry O'Farrell, said the fare changes did not make up for Labor's failure to introduce integrated ticketing, which
was to have happened for the 2000 Olympics.

"Taxpayers have coughed up over $100 million for Labor's failed T-card project, but commuters have nothing to show for it,'' he said.

Business and community groups welcomed the fare structure, which will reduce 20 train zones to five, five bus zones to three, and five ferry zones to

The executive director of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Brendan Lyon, said fewer zones removed one of the stumbling blocks that had ''frustrated the delivery of integrated
ticketing and smart cards''.

But the secretary of
Action for Public Transport, Alan Miles, said monorail, light rail,
Newcastle buses, the Airport Line and private ferries should have been

With prices rising and quality decreasing for public transport looks like even more people will be using their bikes for commuting. Healthier, faster and cheaper than ever.

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And when is this supposed to come into effect?

I'm using the train fares I save by cycling to save up for a new bike.
The higher the fares, the more I save.

18 April introduction date.

It looks like a good move. I applaud the cheaper longer-distance fares, which should get encourage people out of cars.

It is also good to see private bus companies supporting the generic ticketing system.

The only beef I have (which is common when cycle commuting, I think) is that I can't puchase a 'travel-10' style ticket for the trains.

The only bulk discount for train or train+bus is a weekly, monthly etc.
The closer peeps should just get on their bikes and ride.

If they can, yes. Some can't (visually impaired, frail aged, carrying small children, etc etc). Ah well, there are winners and losers no matter what happens. Happy about it from a selfish POV.
Fortunate for you that they're making that choice, too, so that someone is around to support the health system when you're drinking through a straw and wondering what happened to your tricycle.
I think Duncan may be pointing out that us parents are making an investment on behalf of all citizens in providing the tax payers for your (& our) retirement years.

It's more than acceptable for us to get some help.

I haven't even had one for the country yet (only 2 so far) & I never got the baby bonus etc.

Anyway, a user pays society fails on so many levels in practice.
Richard, I have to disagree with the suggestion that having children is an investment in providing taxpayers for our future.

Kylie.. perform a little thought experiment.

scenario #1: No more immigration or babies, starting today.
scenario #2: Replacement rate: (new babies == deaths) for the next 50 years
scenatio #3: (# babies > # deaths) for the next 50 years.

Which one do you think will more effectively be able to pay for the health needs of those who retire in 20yrs time?

I know that you don't think the government has some magic pudding where money comes from to provide services; it relies on taxes, mostly business, and these need working-age people to run them.
"The amount people pay for public transport from mid to outer Sydney is a rip off"

My understanding is that in terms of the cost of actually providing the service, the short-distance rail users are massively subsidising those in mid to outer Sydney.

Why should those who make the environmentally responsible choice to use less energy (by travelling shorter distances) subsidise those who make the environmentally irresponsible choice? Shouldn't we use price signals to create incentives for environmentally responsible behaviour?
Shouldn't we use price signals to create incentives for environmentally responsible behaviour?

Which is exactly what's being done by making outer fares cheaper.

I think you'll find the reluctance of people to use public transport is not driven by relative cost of short/long fares, but more by absolute cost: "less than $x/trip"

You guys in the inner city may pay more, but for that, you get a much wider range of PT choices, and a much shorter wait time; so its not as if there's no advantage.
You are right. It is illegal. That and using the big-to-big combination. On pain of bike breakage.

Oh, and you are right. Short distance fares are unfair. They encourage short car trips.
I think that large areas of sydney should be pedestrianised/bike lane'd and cars should also pay a congestion tax for entry into the city, lets start at 15 dollars in, 15 dollars out.

I use big to big quite a bit climbing hills as my downtube shifters allow me to go small to big with no risk ?
Just double the price of petrol, and use the money raised on any alternative transport.
Don't go big to big, you're putting the chain on an angle with your gears, so increasing wear. Go to the middle or small ring for climbing my friend.
i heard that the short trip train fares are reduced to $3.20. Still expensive compared to a bus. What they orta do is put a time limit on the single fare, so you could use the same ticket more than once over say one hour, on any form of p/t.

here are the comparison fares - a lot cheaper now to get to the Blue Mtns or Newcastle- but will they put on a bike carriage on the weekend?


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