A frustrated Tim Crakanthorp wants the NSW government to stop deciding "on a whim" whether Newcastle is a regional or metropolitan classified area.
Joined in Newcastle on Monday by the opposition spokeswoman for seniors and cost of living, Jo Haylen, Mr Crakanthorp said the classification issue had again cost the city with residents of the Newcastle local government area deemed ineligible for a $250 regional seniors transport card.
"We're let down, yet again by this government, here in Newcastle," he said. "We're Resources for Regional [funding] eligible, we're Regional Road Block money eligible, but we're not eligible for this regional transport program. It is absolutely ludicrous.
"The government needs to have a clear definition on what is metropolitan and what is regional, and not just cherry pick for the case of their budget to the great disadvantage of the people."
The two Labor MPs met with seniors in Hamilton South to discuss the issue and gain support for a parliamentary petition.
Ms Haylen said the government was "running around daily trying to fix this program" after pledging the transport cards ahead of the 2019 state election.
"Veterans were ineligible, now the government has been pressured into making sure they're eligible," she said. "People on carers and disability pension cards are still not eligible. It's not fair."
Mr Crakanthorp added: "You've got people in Adamstown Heights that are eligible, people in Adamstown that aren't. People in Fern Bay that are, people in Stockton that aren't."
A spokesperson for the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said the government had "no plans" to deviate from what was considered regional.
"The NSW government is committed to easing the travel costs for seniors living in rural and regional NSW who often have further distances to travel and don't have access to the same transport options as those in the big cities," the spokesperson said.
"This is a new program developed in line with the policy we announced at the election, which was costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
"Labor had no plans to ease this cost for rural and regional seniors and refused to match our commitment.
"More than 130,000 people across the State have successfully signed up for the regional seniors travel card so far, which will inject more than $32 million into regional economies."