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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I used to live in Campbelltown and my family still does - so I do know that driving to the city for work is more expensive. I was taking into account cost of petrol, car maintenance, tolls and parking in the city - even if you get free parking and toll rebate the petrol is more than $13.60 return fare.

It is exactly the inaccessibility of public transport that I mention is the problem not the fares.
More crap from journos? Can anyone find a fare that supports the article's reference to "hefty price hikes of up to $300 a year"?
In fact many of the fares have been reduced, some significantly ...... one by nearly $800!
Simple maths Russ..

"But the $35-a-week Blue Travelpass - ... - will no longer exist.
In its place, the government will introduce a $41 MyMulti travelpass "

$50 x 6 = $300

So yes, if you're in this region and travel on a weekly, you are up for approx $300/yr more.

Of course, you'd be better off buying a yearly, but that's another argument.
Yes, it's one of the generally few fares that have increased (and it has the advantage of being able to use additional modes) but the yearly ticket is a saving of $760!
My FerryTen will now cost $42.40 (up from $33.50). That's well over $400 per year (if I did it every day)! I don't mind cheaper fares for long trips, but I do mind having to pay significantly more for a 5km Ferry TravelTen than a 50km Bus TravelTen ($34.50).

Oh well, more incentive to ride my bike. I just wish I didn't have to risk my life on busy 4WD infested roads with no bike lanes.
If I go shopping, sometimes we'll drive (sorry) about 5kms. That's about $9 on the new or old scale for an off peak ticket. It's about $3 in fuel, and there's free parking at both ends. In addition, it takes as long to walk to the station with our 2 kids as it does to drive the whole journey.
This change looks pretty good, but they need to cut it a bit more.
Our main day of PT use is Sundays when its $2.50 to go anyware, if you have a kid. We train it to the ferry and bus it home. On any other day, that would cost a small fortune.
Everyone wants everything for free!

Has anyone heard of any studies being made of what the cost to society would be it public transport was free? It would have to incorporate the effects of savings due to reduced road construction/maintenance, reduced congestion costs, pollution, etc. I know of one transport person in Newcastle that calculated that a charge of about $80 per year added to local council rates would enable everyone to travel for free on public transport in Newcastle. I don't know how reliable the calculation was, nor the suppositions, but it is a starting point!
Make yer own!
Have you considered renting?
It is annoying that if you have kids you get the cheap transport while everyone without kids has to pay the usual fare.

Can't they just make it $2.50 for everyone all day Sunday and be fair about it?
The elderly are on a reduced income (most of the time) and should receive a cut in the costs of their transport as currently allowed for. It also encourages older people who may no longer have the best reaction times to stop driving and take transport, that is a good thing.

I'm not saying take away the cheap fares for familys on Sundays am saying allow everyone to have the cheap fares. The number of families who take advantage of the cheap fares is probably offset by the number of singles, couples and people without kids who choose to take their cars on Sundays as it works out more expensive for them than catching transport.

If you want public transport to work it has to
- turn up on time
- be affordable to all people all the time

The people on this site are lucky in that they happily choose a bike, not everyone will do that. For those who don't choose a bike they will choose a car.

With this new plan public transport gets more expensive and they don't turn up on time that will result in more people in cars.
You should check their "bring back policy" Kylie. Will they accept them back when you are ready to return them? :-)

When I was working in Bangkok a few years ago, apparently it was not uncommon for beggars to hire kids, and preferably disabled ones, to enhance their collections from the farangs!


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