Eligible local seniors can now apply for the 2022 NSW Regional Seniors Travel Card, which will see them receive $250 to help with everyday travel costs.
Local Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said the popular initiative, which has seen more than 690,000 cards issued to regional seniors in NSW since the start of 2020, has been extended for another two years.
“The Regional Seniors Travel Card was a commitment we made before the 2019 NSW election, and I’m proud to say it’s one we have delivered for locals,” Mr Franklin said.
“We’ve already seen the difference this card is making across the region, with more than 27,000 cards already issued to locals throughout the Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore and Tenterfield areas and every town in between.
“Eligible applicants will receive a $250 pre-paid Visa card that can be used for fuel, taxis, pre-booked NSW TrainLink Regional trains and coaches, and select community transport services.
“This card is great news for regional seniors and another way we are injecting money into the bush with the benefit flowing for fuel stations, taxi drivers and local economies.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the card ensures seniors in rural, regional and remote areas of the State are able to offset some of their costs for getting to the shops, to medical appointments, staying connected locally and with friends and family living in other parts of the State.
“The card helps ease the burden of travel costs for eligible seniors in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW, making it easier and more affordable for them to travel,” Mr Toole said.
“We know what a difference this is making to the lives of our regional seniors, so we’ve committed $246 million to continue the program until the end of 2023, as well as expand the eligibility to include seniors who are carers and those with disabilities.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said eligible seniors have until 30 November 2022 to apply.
“By putting an extra $250 in the pockets of our regional seniors, we are boosting access to safe and convenient travel, as well as reducing the burden on people who often have fewer transport options than those living in the city,” Mr Farraway said.
“This initiative has also injected more than $131 million into regional economies, benefitting local taxi operators and fuel stations.”
In addition to the existing criteria, seniors can apply for a travel card if they have reached the Age Pension age and are receiving either a Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment from Services Australia.
Applications for the 2022 NSW Regional Seniors Travel Card are open now, until 30 November. Eligible participants will also be able to apply for a 2023 Regional Seniors Travel Card in early 2023, meaning more ongoing financial support for essential travel costs.
The 2022 cards are contactless, making payments safer and easier for card holders, and are made from 85.5% recycled plastic. With the latest COVID-19 health advice, seniors are strongly advised to apply online or call 13 77 88 rather than visit a service centre.
More information can be found at service.nsw.gov.au/regionalseniorstravel