The New South Wales government has announced that over 100,000 rural and regional seniors have signed up for its $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card since applications opened on 29 January.
The eligible seniors will soon get their cards, which in turn will ease the burden of travel costs as well as pump in over $25m into regional economies.
The programme, apart from easing travel fare for senior citizens, is also meant to inject a $25m to the regional economies.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said: “This is the first time we are rolling out a program like this. This card puts $250 in the pocket of regional seniors, which can mean an extra few trips to visit grandkids living in other parts of the state, the ease of staying connected locally or the ability to volunteer in local community groups.”
He also added that several thousands of rural and regional seniors are applying for the cards each day.
The eligibility criteria for the card have been widened to also include pension-aged veterans collecting a Service Pension or recipients of a War Widow Pension through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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The card rollout comes following a pilot in Coffs Harbour, where around 80 seniors have been trialling the pre-loaded Visa card.
About 80 seniors in Coffs Harbour were given pre-loaded Visa card as part of a pilot session which claimed valuable feedback.
Commenting on the Coffs Harbour pilot, Paul Toole said: “These seniors also told us how easy the card is to use, with participants predominately purchasing fuel, followed by taxi rides, but can also be used to purchase pre-booked TrainLink services.”
The eligible seniors can apply for the travel card until 30 November, 2020. The cards can be used for 12 months from the activation.