The NSW government has farewelled the eighth trip free for customers using an Opal card. This change was debated a lot with customers and now the state government have finally bid farewell to it.
From 5 September 2016, eight or more opal journeys will be given half price every time they tap on and off after. Users of public transport will also be given a $2 rebate when they switch up their mode of transport such as using a train and then hopping onto a bus.
Transport minister, Andrew Constance said “we have to find a way to move forward keep the system sustainable” as there was so much lost revenue. He made it clear in a statement that the old transport system had a loss of around $3000 million because of the free trips.
The new #OpalCard system is now in operation
It is now half-price journeys after 8 trips pic.twitter.com/rLrE1xfKB1
— Nova 969 News (@Nova969News) September 4, 2016
Ryan Parks, the shadow treasurer is against this offer as he wants people using public transport instead of turning them against it because the fare is too high.
The Labor party said individuals who travel 5-days a week will be “slugged the hardest” as their fares will rise by 12.5%.
Commuters need fast and affordable transport systems, that is why Parks is worried everyone may start driving again and ignoring public commute. One commuter says “As I have a very low wage, I rely on my free trips to get me around on weekends”.
According to a statement by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, only 30% of people earned the free trip, but 70% still had to pay for their fare for the week. However, a spokeswoman for the Tribunal said they were pleased with the system otherwise as the Sunday cap is very helpful for families who want to travel to the city for the day.
There was speculation that prices for students and adults would also increase over the next few weeks but this has now been postponed until later in the year. This is in order to maximise profit and create better services for customers although we don’t think many customers will be too pleased with this.