Train fares will be slashed from next month to encourage more off-peak travel as the system tries to cope with more people returning to work.
Opal fares will change from July 6, including a temporary 50 per cent discount for off-peak travel on bus, train, metro and light rail services to help manage social distancing measures.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said customers are encouraged to take advantage of the off-peak incentive to help stagger essential travel on the public transport network as COVID-19 restrictions ease and patronage steadily increases.
“The vast majority of commuters will benefit from these changes with either cheaper travel or no change to their fares. A third of commuters will save an average of $3.60 a week based on current travel patterns,” Mr Constance said.
“We’ve waived the usual CPI increase and have rejected recommendations by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to increase Opal fares by 20 per cent over four year.”
New peak travel times will be introduced from July 6:
- 6:30am–10am on Sydney Trains, Sydney Metro, light rail and bus (currently 7am-9am)
- 6am-10am on Intercity Trains (currently 6am-8am)
- 3pm-7pm on Sydney Trains, Intercity Trains, Sydney Metro, light rail and bus (currently 4pm-6:30pm)
Travel outside these times will be eligible for the 50 per cent fare discount. This is the first time bus and light rail commuters will benefit from off-peak fares.
The 50 per cent off-peak discount will remain for three months, then a permanent 30 per cent discount for off-peak travel will be introduced on bus and light rail, which is in line with current off-peak fares for train and metro.
A new $8.05 all day travel cap will be introduced on Saturday and Sunday. This is to help spread weekend public transport loads and encourage people to enjoy capped public transport travel on Saturday as well as Sunday.
Fares for bus and light rail peak journeys between 0-3 kilometres will be increased, to encourage people to walk or cycle for short distances or travel off peak. All other fares will either remain at current levels or reduce by the off-peak discount.
“We want everyone to remember they have a role to play in making the public transport network as safe as possible. Our frontline transport staff have been doing an amazing job during this unprecedented time and we urge customers to keep showing them their respect and understanding,” Mr Constance said.
A trip from Penrith to Town Hall would usually cost $6.89 during peak periods, but will now cost $3.44 during off-peak travel.