NEWCASTLE public transport fares are set to rise up to 6 per cent from next year after the O’Farrell government opted to pass on two years’ worth of inflation cost increases at once.
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Metropolitan bus and train fares would increase an average of 5.4 per cent from January 2, following a review by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

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Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian blamed the former Labor government for the fare increases yesterday.

She described as ‘‘irresponsible’’ its decision not to increase prices in line with inflation since April 2010.

The tribunal had determined fares should rise by 10.6 per cent to reflect rising costs of providing services.

But Ms Berejiklian said the government had rejected that, in line with its election commitment not to put fares up beyond inflation levels where services had not improved to match.

The rise means fares for Newcastle Buses will increase by between 5.1 per cent and 6.3 per cent. Stockton Ferry single adult fares will increase from $2.30 to $2.40.

A single adult train ticket would increase between 20¢ and 40¢ and a weekly rail ticket by between $1 and $3.

Ms Berejiklian said RailCorp needed to be more efficient so costs did not continue to increase.

She said the government still had more work to do to lift the standard, but had been focused on integrating transport services.

Labor said the government should have kept the fare increase to one year’s worth of inflation.

‘‘The O’Farrell government today has given a slap in the face to the commuters of Sydney,’’ opposition transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe said.