Cycling in Sydney Australia
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
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''.