ORANGE residents catching a NSW TrainLink bus from Orange to connect with the electric rail service at Lithgow pay $61.86 return, $45.06 more than Bathurst residents despite only travelling an extra 55 kilometres each way, and at least one traveller wants to know why.
An adult travelling from Bathurst pays $8.40 each way for the coach and train connection while an adult ticket from Orange costs $30.93.
Gavin Hillier was staggered by the price discrepancy when he caught the service in May and since then the difference has increased by an extra $4.
“If you’re paying the full fare you might as well drive down,” he said.
“There is no real incentive to catch public transport.
“The only people who use it don’t have a choice, they may not have a car and they can’t afford to fly down.”
Mr Hillier said if member for Orange Andrew Gee was “fair dinkum” about fixing transport connections to Sydney, Orange’s travel would also be subsidised like Bathurst as part of the city network.
“You would think it would be a little bit dearer,” he said.
“But it’s only 50 kilometres away.”
A Transport for NSW spokesman said fares for NSW TrainLink Regional services were based on the distance travelled “under a long-standing policy” used by the service’s precursor CountryLink prior to July 1.
“There have been no recent changes to NSW TrainLink Regional fares,” he said.
“However, NSW TrainLink offers seasonal fares at a discount of up to 30 per cent during some times of the year.”
Adult passengers catching the XPT train service from Orange pay $45.08 for an economy class seat, only $6.86 more than the $38.22 ticket from Bathurst.
An adult ticket on the Bathurst Bullet daily commuter train costs $8.40.
Mr Hillier supports a suggestion for an extra coach service to link Orange with the subsidised Bathurst Bullet allowing Orange residents to save on parking in the Sydney CBD
But he said the price discrepancy needed to be ironed out first.
“The advantage of the Bathurst Bullet is that it doesn’t stop at all the train stations,” he said.
“It’s much more convenient than the Lithgow to Sydney train.”