The Nationals in Government will make it more affordable for seniors living in regional, rural and remote NSW to access essential services and improve the well being of our older citizens.
The Regional Transport Seniors Card is a $250 voucher towards the purchase of fuel and taxis from participating providers in rural and regional NSW and pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services.
Why a Regional Transport Seniors Card?
Travel is one of the most significant household costs faced by seniors living across rural and regional NSW.
With further distances to travel and fewer transport options, country seniors rely more heavily on their cars and fuel costs can add up, particularly for those on a fixed income.
The Regional Seniors Transport Card offers a $250 discount on fuel and taxis from participating providers in rural and regional NSW and pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services.
Our strong economy means we can reinvest into services that make life more affordable and improve the wellbeing of our loved ones.
Reducing travel costs will enable easier access to health services, and assist with day-to-day activities like shopping and visiting family and friends.
Eligibility is available for aged pensioners, or Commonwealth Senior Health Card holders, who live in regional NSW.
Almost 400,000 seniors in NSW are expected to benefit from the new travel card.
Already the NSW Government provides concession fares to Seniors, including $2.50 all day travel with a Country Pensioner Excursion Ticket on NSW Trainlink Services and Regional Excursion Daily on privately-operated local buses.
The Nationals in Government will:
- Introduce a $250 voucher towards the purchase of fuel and taxis from participating providers in rural and regional NSW and pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services.
- Available for aged pensions or Commonwealth Senior Health Card holders.
- The voucher can also be used for public transport.
What is a Regional Seniors Transport Card?
The Regional Seniors Transport Card will provide eligible recipients with $250 each year for two years towards the purchase of fuel and taxi services from participating providers in rural and regional NSW, as well as pre-booked NSW TrainLink services.
Who will be eligible?
Seniors must be living in Regional NSW, outside Newcastle and Wollongong City Council boundaries, and either an aged pensioner or a Commonwealth Senior Health Card holder.
This will ensure the rebate is only targeted to people who need additional support.
Why is this needed?
Travel is one of the most significant household costs faced by seniors living in rural and regional NSW.
With further distances to travel and fewer transport options, rural and regional seniors rely more heavily on their cars, and fuel costs can add up quickly.
The Card will make it easier and more affordable for seniors in our regions to access essential services like doctors and assist with day-to-day activities such as shopping and visiting friends and family.
Where can the card be used?
The Regional Seniors Transport Card can be used towards;
- The purchase of fuel at participating providers in Regional NSW
- Taxi services from participating providers in Regional NSW
- Pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services
The Regional Seniors Transport Card cannot be used in conjunction with other government subsidies, other than the $2.50 concessional fare for public transport.
Who will these ‘participating providers’ be?
The NSW Liberals & Nationals in Government will be working with petrol station providers and taxi service operations in rural and regional NSW to participate in the Regional Seniors Transport Card.
How much money will be on the card?
$250, per year.
Could any of this $250 be ‘rolled over’ into following years?
How long will this run for?
Two years starting in January 2020
The program will be reviewed after this, based on its success.
How could someone find out if they are in Regional NSW?
The definition of Regional NSW is consistent with that used for Restart NSW (LGAs outside of Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle). This will be available online and applicants will be able to enter their postcode to see if they live in an eligible area.
Does a senior require a licence/car to receive a Regional Seniors Transport Card?
No. At their discretion, the Regional Seniors Transport Card may be used to purchase fuel from a participating provider in Regional NSW for someone else’s vehicle to support their transport needs or to pay for taxi fares. Eligible seniors do not have to hold a driver’s licence or own a vehicle to qualify for the Regional Seniors Transport Card.
Who will administer the program?
Transport for NSW will administer the program.
When will the cards be available?
They will be introduced from January 2020.
Will the card be a debit card?
The specifics of how the card will operate will be determined by Transport for NSW. It will ensure the community is updated on how the program will work in advance of its roll out.
Does the card have any impact on eligibility for the pension? Will it be classed as income?
We will work with the Federal Government to ensure this is not a means-tested payment.
What if the card is lost or stolen?
We will inform the community prior to launch in January 2020 as we work through specifics of implementation.
Can I trade the Regional Seniors Transport Card to buy something else?
A Regional Seniors Transport Card cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged for other benefits.
How will someone be able to track the amount on their card?
Transport for NSW will work through all implementation matters and will update the community in advance of the roll out of the program.
Why does some election material state the card can be used “to pay the existing concession fares on regional trains and buses” while other material states it can only be used on “pre-booked NSW TrainLink train and coach services”?
The costed policy is specific about services the card can be used for; fuel, taxis, and NSW TrainLink.
This is a starting point. Over time we will work to expand the transport services available with the card.