The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has conducted a major review of fares for public bus services provided by private bus operators in rural and regional NSW. We have determined the maximum fares to apply for the determination period – 5 March 2018 to 31 December 2020.

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 $18 dollars per regular passenger journey to provide regular passenger 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, in making our final decisions and recommendations, 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 fare decisions and recommendations, and explains where and why they differ from those proposed in our Draft Report.

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