Fantastic Bathurst electorate response to regional senior travel cards

TRAVEL CARD: Bathurst MP Paul Toole, right, with Sam Farraway MLC and the NSW Regional Seniors Travel Card. Photo: SUPPLIED
TRAVEL CARD: Bathurst MP Paul Toole, right, with Sam Farraway MLC and the NSW Regional Seniors Travel Card. Photo: SUPPLIED

Just three months after applications for the Regional Seniors Travel Card opened, the popular initiative has had more than 300,000 applications across regional NSW.

Bathurst MP Paul Toole said it was fantastic to see the keen response to year two of the trial of the $250 pre-paid Visa card, which benefited more than 337,500 seniors and their communities in 2020.

"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 the people of regional NSW," Mr Toole said.

"The card has been an overwhelming success."

Figures from Service NSW show there were 818 people in the Oberon community who were eligible for a Regional Seniors Travel Card and the government received 480 applications, a take-up rate of 58.68 percent.

"This 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," Mr Toole said.

Mr Toole said it was exciting to see such high interest in the second year of the trial, which puts $250 into the pockets of eligible seniors to spend on pre-booked NSW TrainLink, regional train and coach services, fuel, and taxis.

"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 how much seniors value this card - it can mean the difference between an extra few trips to visit grandkids, the ease of seeing friends locally or just getting to the shops or attending medical appointments.

"The card injected more than $60 million into regional economies in the first year of the trial, putting money in local cash registers at a time when it was needed the most.

"Not only is this card a game changer for regional seniors , it's another way we are injecting money into the bush with the benefit flowing to fuel stations, taxi drivers and local economies."

Eligible seniors have until November 30 to apply for a new travel card. Seniors must be an age pensioner with a valid Pensioner Concession Card or hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card issued by either the Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Applications for the card can be made online at www.service.nsw.gov.au, by calling 13 77 88 or by visiting a Service NSW Service Centre.