Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock MP have today announced that the NSW Government will ease the cost of travel for rural and regional seniors from January next year, through the rollout of the $250 Regional Seniors Transport Card.
Mr Ward said that the $250 card was promised during the recent election campaign and would help thousands of seniors across the region.
“Travel is one of the most significant household costs for residents living in our region and this new card will be a huge help to many seniors struggling with cost of living pressures,” he said.
“Seniors will be able to use the $250 to purchase fuel and pay for taxi fares from participating providers in rural and regional NSW, and pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services.
“To qualify for the card, seniors must be living in Regional NSW, outside Newcastle and Wollongong City Council boundaries, and be either an aged pensioner or a Commonwealth Senior Health Cardholder,” Mr Ward said.
Mrs Hancock said that this initiative complemented a suite of cost of living measures already rolled out by the NSW Government.
“I know it can be challenging at times for seniors here on the South Coast to travel to medical appointments or to travel distances to see loved ones,” she said.
“With further distances to travel, they rely more heavily on private travel which can be a more expensive option. We simply don’t have the luxury of multiple public transport options like they do in Sydney.
“This initiative will ease the pressure on seniors to access essential services and help address cost of living pressures on the South Coast,” Mrs Hancock said.
The Regional Seniors’ Transport Card policy follows a recommendation from the 2016 NSW Parliamentary Committee on Community Services into the access to Transport for Seniors and Disadvantaged People in Rural and Regional NSW.
Further details about the rollout of the $250 Regional Seniors’ Transport Cards will be made available later in the year.