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“During the election, the Minister for Transport promised during that she would not raise fares unless they improved public transport. Yet in October she cut services on the Inner West Line, in December announced the removal of bus stops, and in January increased fares.

“We all know how much better traffic flows on school holidays. The Light Rail extension will service many of the Inner West’s schools. Yet the Minister for Transport simply refuses to give student fares on the Light Rail like on Sydney’s buses and trains; and continues to delay the Opal roll-out on the simple single-line single-operator Inner West Light Rail by another year.

The reason for an integrated ticketing system was to remove the cost of changing modes so that passengers can mix and match. For example, even running at slow NSW speeds the light rail to Marion St, Haberfield will be faster than the bus. However rather than making an efficient interchange the Minister added an unnecessary 500m walk and another fare just to please the departments of Treasury and Roads and so she dissuade customers.”

Within weeks of rolling out Opal card services to North Shore stations the Minister announced staffing cuts. If she is happy to leave stations in her own electorate unmanned and unsafe, what hope does the Inner West have?

The Minister has shown that she is willing to use the Opal system as a way of cutting staff and increasing revenue, but she needs to deliver what she promised the people of NSW, better public transport.”

Said Mathew Hounsell Co-convenor of Ecotransit Sydney

“The roll out of integrated ticket is one of the greatest debacles in the state’s history. Bureaucratic intransigence & incompetence combined with ministerial ineptitude to drain the state’s tax payer of over a billion dollars.” Said Mathew Hounsell co convenor of Ecotransit.

“A simple universal fare structure would have allowed integrated ticketing to be rolled out across the state quickly and at a reasonable price. Instead the previous Labor government was bullied by the bureaucracy, especially treasury, into wasting taxpayers funds in a pointless expensive exercise of fiddling fares to give the appearance of maximising revenue.”

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Media Release 2013-05-09

Ecotransit is a member based, not-for-profit public and active transport community advocacy group.

“An integrated, consistent and reasonably priced ticketing system has already proved a winner for public transport users and reducing Sydney’s traffic problems. In the year after the Government removed Westpac’s gate fee on Green Square Station, the patronage doubled by over 1,600 people a day. “ Mathew Hounsell Co-Convenor of Ecotransit said.

“The Inner West Light Rail had a jump in passengers when the Government allowed them to use MyMulti weekly tickets. Ecotransit expects the integrated ticketing to make the Inner West Light Rail very popular once the new Leichardt and Haberfield stops are open to the public.”

“It is a shame that the government and bureaucracy have continued to pursue a bespoke, overpriced, outdated payment processing system creating another government mandated monopoly. Other cities have already rolled out next generation systems using contact less credit cards and near field communication from mobile phones.”

“While the type of payment technology determines the overall cost to tax payers, it alone can not make a good ticketing system; although it can make a bad one. “

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