Kolomeitz rails against ticket price increase

PRICE HIKE: The Labor candidate for Kiama, Glenn Kolomeitz, is angry about train fare increases. Photo: SYLVIA LIBERAn argument has erupted over a jump in train travel costs, which the Labor candidate for Kiama, Glenn Kolomeitz, says is “blatant discrimination” against some South Coast commuters.

Annual public transport fare increases came into effect on Sunday, with a blanket 20 cent increase on all paper train tickets.

Opal train fares have risen eight cents to 20 cents a trip, depending on the distance travelled.

A single journey from Bomaderry to Kiama will increase by 12 cents for card users, while a trip from Kiama to Wollongong will cost 16 cents more, according to Mr Kolomeitz.

He said any fare changes would “hit local families” but the paper ticket increase was “blatant discrimination” against those who used them.

“[Some] people, particularly the elderly, can’t buy Opal cards and they’re still relying on the paper tickets.”

Mr Kolomeitz said people living south of Kiama could buy Opal cards in only two places – Kiama and Nowra – and a lack of internet meant it was “virtually impossible” to buy one online.

“The Opal card should be a good system, it’s a system I fully support,” he said. “But it must be fair, it must be equitable and it must be accessible.”

Kiama MP Gareth Ward said cards could be bought over the phone and fees had increased only in line with CPI.

“The IPART recommendation was to go much further than that; we’ve rejected that finding,” Mr Ward said.

The $2.50 seniors Opal card cap and paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets remain unchanged.

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