The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has released its proposed package of  changes to public transport fares. The purpose of the changes is to deliver fairer, more efficient and more integrated fares across all services on which the Opal card can be used.

Western Sydney Community Forum’s Chief Executive, Billie Sankovic, states that “it would appear the proposals from the IPART will inevitably impact on commuters across Western Sydney who rely on public transport to journey to work and access essential services”

“IPART is clear that while the recommended changes will reduce costs for some commuters,
particularly for those taking multi-mode journeys, it will make travel more expensive for those who travel longer distances”

“The net result could well be that commuters in Western Sydney bear a significant proportion of the increase in costs, and more so for those living in the outer lying areas of the region including Penrith and the Blue Mountains.”

“Any re-distribution of transport fares as proposed by IPART, must not impact negatively and shift the cost burden to vulnerable groups such as older  people, young people and those on low incomes who use public transport to get to work and access essential services. We are not confident the proposed changes have considered this consequence in enough detail.”

Western Sydney Community Forum will be providing feedback to IPART on the draft fare reform package to ensure commuters in Western Sydney are not disadvantaged as a result of the proposed changes.