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Sydney public transport fare-free period pushed, encouraging CBD spending

A decision to temporarily waive public transport fares last year led to a surge in spending across Sydney’s CBD, prompting the NSW government to make travel free during public holidays and major events. Demands are rising.

New data suggests the government has implemented a 12-day fare-free period in April 2022. This was done as an apology amid ongoing industrial action across the city’s rail network, indicating a surge in both travel and consumer spending around Sydney.

Business NSW is asking the government to increase the number of public holiday fare free days.credit:Flavio Brancaleone

Business NSW compiled Mastercard and Opal data for April 12, showing a 6% increase in spending in the CBD compared to the previous week and a 24% increase from the previous holiday period .

Lobby Group is calling on state governments to waive fares for WorldPride 2023 and major holidays.


Business Sydney executive director Paul Nicolau said the financial data were compelling enough to encourage the state government to adopt fare-free periods on public holidays such as Easter, Anzac Day and the Christmas period. He said there is

“The results speak for themselves. Public transport is proving to be a very successful initiative to bring people back to the city. We urge the government to continue this initiative.” ‘ he said.

Nicolaou pointed to Melbourne, which has free trams in the heart of the CBD, and said Sydney should consider adopting this measure for its own light rail.

“Eventually, we would like to at least make the light rail from Circular Quay to Surry Hills free for people, because I think that would be a huge bonus for tourists,” he said.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/free-public-transport-push-to-bring-people-back-into-the-city-and-boost-cbd-spending-20230214-p5ckei.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Sydney public transport fare-free period pushed, encouraging CBD spending

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