Fares up and bus route changes for Sydney

Source: News.com.au

A government bus travels on Eddy Avenue in Sydney

Public transport fares will increase next year as the NSW government redesigns Sydney’s bus system. Source: AAP

SYDNEY commuters may have to travel further to reach their bus stops next year and pay more to climb aboard following a raft of transport changes.

The NSW government’s 20-year plan to redesign Sydney’s bus system aims to streamline more than 600 bus routes.

The plan, Sydney’s Bus Future, will introduce a three-tiered network and see more rapid routes, like the existing metrobuses.

The rapid routes will link major centres and create a “turn up and go service” with a bus every 10 minutes on weekdays.

However, routes will see fewer stops and commuters may have to walk further to reach them.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the plan on Thursday, along with a public transport fare increase to start on January 5.

Opposition Leader John Robertson slammed the plan, saying it would create longer queues at fewer bus stops.

Customers on “suburban” routes will get a bus at least every 10 minutes in peak times and every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays.

“Local” services will have buses stopping every 400 metres.

The new plan’s 13 “rapid” routes will link Sydney’s hubs, but will only stop every 800 metres to one kilometre.

The government says the bus route changes will see 1.5 million Sydneysiders living within a 10 minute walk to “turn up and go” services on rapid or suburban routes.

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said the government recognised that increasing buses was the problem, not the solution, for traffic congestion.

“The metro bus routes have been very popular and the development of more rapid services that have reduced stopping patterns, but faster trips, will be very attractive to passengers who travel over longer distances,” she said.

The Tourism & Transport Forum supports the plan, but deputy chief executive Trent Zimmerman wants more services to Olympic Park.

“We are disappointed the plan does not include express bus services from Strathfield to cater for a growing workforce and we encourage the government to keep the door open on improving bus links to Olympic Park,” he said.

While the government says it will not increase MyZone fares in line with an IPART recommendation, there will be an increase in line with CPI.

The hike will range between a 20 cent increase on single adult tickets up to a $2 increase for MyMulti weekly tickets.

However, Opal fares will remain unchanged.

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