Christmas has arrived six months early for more than 300,000 seniors across the State with the NSW Government announcing it will extend the Regional Seniors Travel Card for another two years.
Introduced on a trial basis in 2020, the travel card is a $250 prepaid Visa card designed to ease the burden of travel costs for eligible seniors in rural, regional and remote areas.
Since the two-year trial began 337,500 cards were issued in 2020, while to date, more than 330,000 cards have been issued to regional seniors in 2021.
"Living in regional NSW is rewarding in so many ways, but every day we struggle with the tyranny of distance," deputy premier, John Barilaro said.
"This card has made a huge difference to the lives of seniors living in the bush who have fewer transport options than those living in the city and we're excited to announce it will be offered again in 2022 and 2023."
Local member, Stephen Bromhead echoed the deputy premier's comments and said the card had been a huge success.
"We have the oldest electorate in NSW and I'm delighted that this scheme will not only continue, but expand to benefit more people," Mr Bromhead said.
The $250 prepaid card can be used to pay not only for trains and coaches, but for fuel and taxis too - a huge win for our community.Stephen Bromhead
"It's vital our communities are connected and with the help of the NSW Government able to get to where they need to.
"The $250 prepaid card can be used to pay not only for trains and coaches, but for fuel and taxis too - a huge win for our community."
The Regional Seniors Travel Card can be used for pre-booked NSW Trainlink regional trains and coaches, fuel and taxis.
From 2022, eligible applicants will include seniors who have reached the age pension age and are receiving:
- The Age Pension through Services Australia or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
- A Disability Support Pension or a Carer Payment from Services Australia
- A Service Pension issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs
- A Disability Pension through the Department of Veterans' Affairs under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
- A War Widow(er)'s Pension issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
- People who hold a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card issued by Services Australia or the Department of Veterans' Affairs are also eligible.
The regional boundaries for applicants will remain the same in 2022.
More information about which regional areas are included in this initiative can be found at on the Service NSW website HERE.
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