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Train, bus, ferry and light rail commuters in New South Wales could be spending less money on travel from next year as a result of a fare review.
Limiting peak-time fares, offering off-peak fares to buses, ferries and light rail and giving bigger discounts to commuters using more than one mode of transport are being considered for the Opal card system from 2020-2024.
One significant proposal could mean peak fares only apply to commuters who are travelling in the 'busy' direction - so, for example, people heading out of the city at 8am are not hit with the higher fare like those heading to work in the CBD.
Travellers from Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter could reap the benefits from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review.
Train commuters travelling6 during the weekday peaks, 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm, are charged 30 per cent more than off-peak fares.
Peak fares could be restricted to trips in particular locations such as CBD train stations like Central, Town Hall and Wynyard in periods where overcrowding is a major problem.
They may also be limited to one direction since trains travelling toward the city are packed in the morning while trains going away are crowded in the evening.
Off-peak fares are currently limited to trains but could be offered to buses, ferries and light rail to reduce the pressure on the rail network.
Commuters using more than one mode of transport on a journey, like a bus and a train, currently receive a $2 discount that may be increased.
It is not known how new mode-specific fares for light rail and metro trips will impact commuters and could potentially cost more.
How fares are calculated for commuters traveling longer distances is also being reviewed through the number and range of fare bands and maximum fares, which could also potentially increase fares.
The state government increased Opal fares by 2.2 per cent in July 2018 after being urged by IPART to raise fares by 4.2 per cent annually over three years in 2016.
This article first appeared on www.dailymail.co.uk
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