The price of tapping on will rise from July 2 this year, with the NSW government confirming it will raise the cost of adult Opal fares by 2.2 per cent.
The change is expected to cost commuters an average of 39 cents extra per week in line with inflation, less than the maximum amount recommended by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) regulator – an increase to fares of 4.2 per cent per year.
“As a government, we don’t support IPART’s recommended average annual increase of 4.2 per cent as we believe it’s more important to put commuters first and these changes show that we are continuing to do so,” transport minister Andrew Constance said in an official statement.
In a report released in May 2016, IPART stated the maximum fare hike over the three-year period to 2019 must fall below 13 per cent.
“When determining the cap on the average fare changes, we consider what the most efficient cost in providing the service would be, and also how much benefit public transport provides for the overall community in terms of reduced congestion and pollution before determining how much passengers who use the services should pay as fares,” the report explains.
In July last year, adult Opal fares increased by 2.4 per cent – around 50 cents per person, per week.
Opal cards are used for Sydney’s rail and light-rail services, intercity government and private bus services in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter regions, Sydney Ferries and the Stockton Ferry in Newcastle.
On Twitter, the transport minister said his government was “committed to keeping down pressure on the cost of living”.
In a video shared with the tweet, he adds: “We’ve got to continue to grow the network, provide more services – better services. And with that in mind, we obviously have a slight adjustment this year.”
Gold Opal fares – for seniors – will remain capped at $2.50 for all daytime travel, and the $2.70 cap for adults travelling on Sundays will also stick.