The Cronulla-Bundeena ferry service operator is seeking to increase fares by an average of five per cent a year for the next four years.
Cronulla and National Park Ferry Service has asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to approve incremental increases each year, from $7.80 in 2022 to $9 in 2025.
The current single adult fare is $7.40. Children pay $3.70, as do pensioners, seniors, unemployed and students, and there is also a family ticket for two adults and up to four children costing $24.
IPART is calling for public submissions on fares for seven ferry services, including Cronulla-Bundeena, in Sydney and on the Central Coast and NSW North Coast.
In March this year, the tribunal asked each ferry operator to propose fares for each year of the four-year review period.
Operators were also asked to forecast their operating and capital costs, as well as patronage.
Proposed fare increases by operators range from 2 per cent to 10 per cent per annum.
The tribunal said it would take into consideration factors such as:
IPART said several private ferry operators (including Cronulla and National Park Ferry Service) offer discounted multi-trip tickets.
"We could regulate all fares, including multi-trip tickets, using a weighted-average price cap (WAPC)," IPART said.
"However, when we have consulted on this in previous reviews, stakeholders have not supported this approach. It would also increase complexity for operators in setting fares and for us in monitoring compliance with the cap.
"Therefore, as in previous reviews, we propose to determine the maximum single adult fare, and invited ferry operators to propose fares for a single adult ticket only."
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