NSW’s “tap-to-pay” public transport system will be replacing a swathe of paper tickets from 1 September. The switch to Opal is going to cost yearly and quarterly train ticket buyers hundreds of extra dollars per year. Thankfully, you still have a few weeks left to arrange a 12-month reprieve. Get in while you’ve got the chance.
Opal is a tap-on/tap-off card payment system that aims to streamline public transport in Sydney and wider NSW. It works much like the card systems in other states, with travelers having the option of either purchasing recharge vouchers or authorising automatic top-ups via their credit card. According to NSW Transport, the new system is supposed to work out cheaper for the average commuter — after eight paid journeys, travel becomes free for the remainder of the week.
However, statistics from the fare comparison website Opal Or Not? paint a bleaker picture. Around 66 percent of customers who used the site discovered they would be worse off with Opal to an average tune of $322.32 per year. This is especially evident when it comes to MyTrain yearly and quarterly tickets, which provide upfront discounts of around 20 per cent.
Unfortunately, these are among the tickets that will be on the chopping block at the end of the month. If you’d like to keep travelling as normal and don’t mind making a lump sum payment, be sure to order your yearly ticket before September 1. After that, it’s going to be too late.