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The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is currently reviewing fares for public bus services provided by private bus operators in rural and regional NSW. We will determine the maximum fares to apply for the 3 years commencing from 1 January 2018.
The NSW Government currently spends a substantial amount of money to provide these services. We estimate the total cost of providing both school and regular passenger services is $414 million per annum. However, the patronage of regular passenger services is very low. As a result, the Government (and NSW taxpayers) spend an average of around $20 dollars per passenger journey to provide services in rural and regional areas.
We consider that there is scope to improve value for money from these services – both for people living in rural and regional areas and for taxpayers across NSW. Therefore, for this review, we aim to improve value for money by setting fares to increase the patronage of the services in the short-term and raising their cost effectiveness over time.
This report sets out our draft fare decisions and recommendations, and explains how and why we reached them.