Locals are being invited to have their say on bus fares in rural and regional NSW as part of an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review.
IPART will then set the maximum fares that bus companies can charge for services from January 2021 to December 2025.
The tribunal is aware that drought, bushfires and COVID-19 have meant many are doing it tough, so they're wanting to "ensure that fares are reasonable and services keep improving".
IPART member Deborah Cope said the review would have a specific focus on people facing transport challenges.
"Our aim is to set fares so that people with limited transport options - such as those who can't drive or can't afford a car - have access to services," Ms Cope said.
"We review rural and regional bus fares every few years. Last time, we lowered fares for a range of trips. We also made them simpler by reducing the number of different fares on offer and introducing new daily tickets.
"This time around we will look at the impact of those changes and consider whether more reforms are needed. We will also look at how fares compare with Opal fares in Sydney and with government-funded coach fares."
Ms Cope said the tribunal wanted to encourage the NSW Government to provide the right transport services and to promote the use of buses in communities.
IPART is releasing two issues papers as the first step in its review process. Anyone who is interested in the review can go to the IPART website for more information, to fill in the survey or make a submission.
Submissions on the issues papers close on August 7. IPART will then release a draft report on fares in October and will seek feedback on it.
IPART may also hold public meetings in the Central West, North Coast, New England/North West and Riverina/Murray regions in future.
The review team can be contacted at (02) 9113 7791 or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org