NSW’s Opal public transport smart card has a bit of a mixed reputation. While some commuters are better off under the new system, others are spending up to 15 per cent extra on their bus and train fares. If you’re in the latter camp and are based around Sydney, here’s a simple Opal hack that could reduce your total weekly expenditure by as much as $45.
Lifehacker reader Enrico and his mates produced the below video, which explains how to scam six cheap train journeys in under 30 minutes. Once completed, you only have to add two more trips to be eligible for free travel for the rest of the week. (Opal travel rewards are capped at six trips per day, so you’ll need to add the final return journey the day after.)
"Erskineville station and Macdonaldtown station are perfect for this hack as they are fairly close to each other and have Opal readers accessible without gates," Enrico explains.
Another advantage of travelling between Erskineville station and Macdonaldtown is that they are in different zones and therefore count as separate trips: normally, your trips must have at least one full hour between them to be counted as separate journeys.
The same hack can be applied at various places around Sydney. The amount of money you save will depend on how close the stations are situated to each other and your willingness to hoof it around town. In the video demonstration, the total came to $14.85 -- not bad for a full week of travel.
Here is the video: