I discovered first-hand today that Hillsbus are now accepting the university/TAFE concession cards for half-fare travel. These are student cards issued by universities and TAFEs bearing the government rail/bus concession emblem on it, technically known as a Form 204 concession card).
Previously, Hillsbus only accepted their own concession cards for which students needed to apply directly to Hillsbus. In addition, they were limited to travel to/from classes only — a right royal pain. It’s also confusing because our university/TAFE concession cards allow us half-fare travel on government-run CityRail and Sydney Buses services seven days a week.
I believe this change has come about because the Ministry of Transport has specified in the new Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts that the government-issued student concession cards must be accepted for half-fare travel, along with other concession entitlements , to bring private bus companies into line with government bus services. The Westbus Group, which includes Hillsbus, signed new contracts for Region 4 earlier this year.
Stormmm raised this on the AUTB last week and I was about to contact Hillsbus and ask for an explanation.
This ends years of inequity between those living in areas served by private bus services and those living in areas served by Sydney Buses services. In addition, under the old system those aged over 30 were not eligible for concession fares at any time, even if they were full-time students. I’ve always been surprised this has existed as I would’ve thought it was blatant age discrimination. Glad to see this has changed!
No word as to whether this is now in effect on Westbus services too. If anyone uses them, try it out and let me know!