Opal Fare Hikes: How Much More Will You Pay?

Opal Fare Hikes: How Much More Will You Pay?

Public transport in NSW is about to get a whole lot more expensive thanks to sweeping changes proposed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). From July 1, there will likely be no more free weekly travel after eight journeys. In addition, fares will be going up 4.2 per cent each year for the next three years. Here’s how much more you’ll be paying after the price hikes.

In March, Sydney Trains made /”Opal hacking” more difficult for commuters by increasing the number of transfers needed to make a journey. Now, it’s preparing to scrap the free travel incentive altogether alongside other revenue raising measures.

Under IPART’s final price determination for Sydney’s public transport network, fares are set to increase by an average of 4.2 per cent per year for the next three years. On weekdays, the daily cap on adult Opal cards would also be increased from $15 to $18. (Seniors, meanwhile, will see their daily cap increase from $2.50 to $3.60.)

For full-time travellers, the biggest hit to the wallet will come via the abolition of free end-of-week trips. From July, you’ll no longer get to travel for free after making eight journeys. Instead, commuters would receive a 50 per cent discount on any additional trips they make.

To take some of the sting out of the proposed changes, there’s a $2 rebate for commuters who use more than one mode of transport in a single trip. Whoop de doo.

The NSW Government has not yet accepted IPART’s recommendations but it’s unlikely that they’ll pass up the chance for additional revenue. If the price determination is passed unchanged, those who travel the furthest to work will be among the hardest hit.

If you’re keen to find out how much more you’ll pay, Finder has an excellent web app that does all the calculations for you. Be warned though: it can make for grim reading. Under the changes, I’ll be paying an additional $200 per year but some unlucky commuters will be slogged an extra $100 per month.

The impending death of Opal hacking is something we’re sure many of our readers will sorely lament — particularly given the fact that the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure openly encouraged the practice during the transition from paper tickets.

Over the past few months, the NSW government has done an about-face on Opal hacking. Practically overnight it has begun to vilify the practice via official statements that contain phrases like “exploiting” and “improper earning”. It’s like Nineteen Eighty-Four meets Thomas The Tank Engine. Only not nearly as cool as that sounds.

How much more (or less) will you be paying under the proposed Opal fare changes? Let us know in the comments!

[Via Finder.com.au]


  • Well at the moment I’m saving around $28/week by getting 8 trips done by Tuesday. Monday is a busy day (1 trip every hour method) and I’m lucky enough to do this. Why not just introduced pre-paid quarterly/half-year/yearly again?

    • It doesn’t mention it in the article, but I think the Family Funday Sunday tickets (all day travel at pensioner rates) is also getting scrapped, which is a huge shame – travelling with kids is much easier if you can just jump on and off transport without worrying how much it’s going to cost. Now, families will just drive, because why wouldn’t you when you can get $15 parking in the city on the weekend and public transport costs $50?

      • Agreed. It is a shame because it was a good way to encourage families to make an outing together for a very affordable price (e.g. Ferry Trip).

        I’d be somewhat satisfied if the extra money went into improvement public transport.

      • Unfortunately Cooking Mama has it wrong. The family Funday Sunday tickets were only available for family members, they got retired on 1 january – but under Opal anyone can travel all day and anywhere on Sunday for $2.50 whether they are with a family or not.
        its easy to find out – just read the opal website.

  • According to that web calculator I save 20c per week and my partner who has an almost 2 hour commute saves $6 a week.

  • What an outrage. They should just bring the old mymulties back if they can’t figure out a better system. There didn’t used to be a penalty for changing modes. This system was meant to make things simpler not meaner

  • I save $9.08 per week. I’m happy that i don’t have to keep paying a fortune for my short multiple transport trip.

  • I dont think that website is very accurate, it says im paying $27/w currently and my new price is $25 but im topping up my opal card $40 1-2 times a week (and yes, i am tapping off)

    • I agree the finder.com.au Opal fare calculator is a waste of space – more like a click bait stunt for that site. if anyone wants a fare calculator you use the official Opal Travel app anyway.
      as for this story, the city circle pricing has been around since the city circle so anyone going to the “city” paid the same fare – no matter what end of the city you were going to. doesnt anyone ever do any research before writing anymore?

  • I’m “saving” $2.09 a week on my standard commute to and from work – but that’s really only correcting the earlier injustice of penalising multiple forms of transport, The savings will be eaten up in no time as I do between four to eight additional public transport jaunts throughout the week.

  • Sucks to be there.
    I lived in a city for a while where a weekly travel pass went up over 125% in 4 years. My salary increase didn’t match that. I still feel aggrieved that they thought such price increases were a good thing for a public system.
    I just stopped using it and walked the hour each way. Probably a good thing anyway.

  • You know the best thing about riding a motorcycle? Never having to catch public transport unless I’m planning to drink.

  • “From July 1, there will likely be no more free weekly travel after eight journeys.”

    This is the most offensive part of this for me. The free after 8 journeys has been something that was done for decades. Way before electronic ticketing. It was to promote people to take public transport to work 5 days a week instead of their cars. When you bought a weekly, you got it at the same price as 4 return tickets… that is, you got free travel for the remainder of the week after 8 trips.

    The government, in general, does not think of Public Transport as a viable and “normal” mode of transport. Do some research, you will find that this government and governments around the world literally tell their public that they are against it and that it should be the individual’s express goal to get themselves a car and drive to work.

    Pathetic government. Pathetic tribunal bowing the same pathetic government.

    Independent? Pfft.

  • Mine is significantly cheaper across the board. Why is that?
    I would do a short bus trip and a short train trip and then the reverse. Doesn’t matter if it’s one day a week or the entire week.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!