UPPER Hunter residents will be able to apply for the NSW Government's $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card this week, which will ease the burden of costs for older citizens living in the bush.
Travel is one of the most significant household expenses faced by seniors living in rural and regional areas.
And, Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen said the NSW Government was committed to trying to keep costs down.
"This travel card, available from Wednesday, January 29, is about making it easier for seniors to access services, do their shopping and to stay connected with family and friends," he explained.
"Eligible seniors will be able to use their card to purchase fuel, use taxi services or travel on NSW TrainLink trains and coaches.
"This is also great news for regional businesses including fuel stations and taxi drivers as they, too, will benefit from the initiative."
A three-week pilot recently started in Coffs Harbour to inform the statewide rollout of the card.
It will ensure every step of the process is a smooth and hassle-free experience for both seniors and retailers in the bush.
"In holding a pilot, it will allow the government to test the card and work through any issues that may arise," Mr Johnsen said.
"Following a successful trial we anticipate the Regional Seniors Travel Card will start to reach eligible seniors from mid-late February.
"The Seniors Transport Travel Card was a policy promise made by the Nationals at the 2019 NSW Election - and we're delivering on our promises."
The Service NSW Mobile Service Centre will be in Murrurundi on February 4 and Scone on February 5 to answer any questions locals have regarding the card.
Eligible seniors will have a minimum of 12 months to use their card from the time of activation.
To be eligible to receive the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card, you 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.
Seniors must also live in regional NSW outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong City Council boundaries.
For more information, go to service.nsw.gov.au, phone 13 77 88 or visit a Service NSW Service Centre.