The NSW Government has set aside $561 million to create a two-year ‘toll cap’, refunding drivers for every dollar over $60 they spend on toll roads in a given week.
It’s expected that toll users residing in Glendenning could claim an average of $540 back in 2024, while those in Rosehill could receive an average of $504 back.
Other suburbs estimated to be winners include Silverwater (average $475 back), Blacktown (average $440 back), Quakers Hill (average $446 back), Kellyville (average $339 back), Holsworthy (average $286 back), and Gosford (average $199 back).
Eligible drivers can claim their refund each quarter via Service NSW, starting next year.
“Motorists, particularly in western Sydney where access to public transport alternatives have been more limited than in other parts of the city, have been crying out for relief from the ever-rising burden of tolls on the family budget,” NSW minister for roads John Graham said.
“[The] $60 toll cap is part of ending an era in which government placed more emphasis on growing toll revenue than on helping people get around Sydney without breaking the bank.”
Sydney is the most tolled city in the world, according to the state government, with 13 roads charging drivers for use.
The cash-back scheme, part of the 2023-2024 NSW Budget, is estimated to benefit 720,000 toll road users.
Image: Sydney toll road network, courtesy of Transport for NSW
The toll cap was a 2023 election promise made by Labor.
At the time, it was expected to be accessed by 51,000 motorists at a cost of $151 million.
The 2023-2024 NSW Budget to be delivered today will also bolster energy bill rebates offered to concession card holders and scrap rebates on the purchase of new electric vehicles (EV), instead investing in EV infrastructure.
Opal fare shakeup
The NSW Government also delayed the annual price rise of Opal fares this year – those charged to people using the Sydney public transport system.
Fares across the network will increase by an average of 3.7% from Monday, 16 October.
The city’s discounted public transport fares for weekend travel (a 30% discount to mid-week) will also be expanded to include Fridays.
That will see adult passengers able to travel with a daily cap of $8.90, or $4.45 for children, youth, and concession card holders.
Meanwhile, its weekly cap of $50 for adults and $25 for children and concession card holders will remain the same, as will the $2.50 daily cap offered to seniors and pensioners.
However, people using public transport multiple times each week will no longer receive half-price fares from their eighth trip.
The government found only 14% of travellers were making enough trips to receive the discount, compared to 24% pre-COVID, as fewer workers commuted to the office five days a week.
Image by Leigh on Unsplash