Wollongong MP Paul Scully reckons the NSW government has long been opposed to the Gong Shuttle.
Mr Scully said there were rumours as far back as 2011 the government was looking to introduce fares but only now has it found “the courage” to do it.
There were signs of the government’s plan months ago.
During a budget estimates hearing on September 1, a question was lodged with Transport Minister Andrew Constance asking if the government was planning a fare for the Gong Shuttle.
In a 145-word response Mr Constance never directly answered that question – which made Mr Scully think a fare was on the cards.
“At it’s heart this government has never liked this idea [of a free shuttle],” Mr Scully said.
“They don’t accept, I don’t think, that this has actually been of benefit to the city. They see it as somehow someone is getting a free ride.”
Transport for NSW did not respond to the Mercury’s questions about how long the fare was planned.