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Public transport users have been left disappointed after discovering that travel costs in NSW are changing, leaving them out of pocket.
From July 6, the daily cap on weekend travel using an Opal card in Sydney is temporarily increasing in a bid to manage social distancing measures on transport.
Under a travel cap, you can use bus, train, light rail and ferry services as much as you like and pay no more than the stated capped fee.
For adults, the daily travel cap is going up from $2.80 to $8.05 while the concession fare is also increasing, going up from $2.80 to $4.
The cap had previously only applied on Sundays but from next weekend it is available on Saturdays too.
However the move, which increases an adult’s spend by $5.25 and a child’s by $1.20 to receive the unlimited travel benefit, hasn’t been welcomed by struggling families.
Transport NSW has announced a change to its weekend travel caps as part of its response to dealing with passengers during the pandemic. Picture: Saeed Khan/AFPTransport NSW explained it is to “help spread weekend public transport loads” but it hasn’t stopped disappointed families branding the hike “horrendous” and pointing out it has come in the midst of a pandemic that has seen 1.6 million Australians move onto JobSeeker – support which is set to end in September.
“OMG that’s a huge hike!” one person wrote on Facebook.
“How can they hike up the fare by more than double?” another wrote.
“That’s a massive increase,” one said, adding it would mean they wouldn’t be able to travel anywhere on weekends anymore.
“That is terrible! What a rip-off … OK NSW government we’ll all jump in our cars and undo all the work we have done to get people using public transport! Disgusting really,” another commented.
The hike in the capped price has left struggling families furious. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAPOne mum explained that Sundays had been the only day her whole family could afford to travel, explaining that now it was no longer an option.
“Now it would cost almost $30. This is an insane increase. I’d rather drive and pay for parking. Way to encourage environmental responsibility.”
Transport NSW has said the move is temporary but no end date has been given.
Fares have also increased for bus and light rail travel for distances up to 3km during peak times to encourage walking or cycling.
And to also encourage people travelling throughout the day, there will be an off-peak travel discount of 50 per cent off travel on bus, train, metro and light rail services.
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.
“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.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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