From August 1, the vast majority of paper tickets will no longer be available for users of public transport in NSW. Instead, all commuters will be forced to use the Opal e-card system for most train, bus and ferry rides. This includes trips to the airport. Here is the full list of every ticket type that is being "retired" in favour of Opal cards.
"From Monday 1 August 2016, old paper tickets will no longer be sold or accepted on trains, buses, ferries and light rail within the Opal network," Transport NSW explains on its website.
"To travel on public transport in Sydney and surrounding regions, you will need an Opal card or an Opal single trip ticket. Single trip tickets are only available in Adult and Child/Youth fares. To travel on a concession fare, you will need to have a Concession Opal card or a Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card."
Here's the full list of tickets that are no longer sold:
|Ticket type||Paper tickets no longer sold|
|MyTrain||Single: Adult, Concession and Child Return: Adult, Concession and Child|
|MyBus||Single: Adult, Concession and Child|
|MyFerry||Single - Adult, Concession and Child Return - Adult, Concession and Child|
|Light Rail||Single - Adult, Concession and Child Return - Adult, Concession and Child|
|Family Fare Deal||Family|
|Airport||Single: Adult, Concession and Child Return: Adult, Concession and Child Airport to Airport: Adult, Concession and Child Airport to/from Mascot: Adult, Concession and Child Airport to/from Green Square: Adult, Concession and Child Bulk corporates: Adult, Concession and Child||Newcastle buses and ferries||1 Hour: Adult, Concession and Child Stockton Ferry single ride|
|Newcastle buses and ferries||1 Hour: Adult, Concession and Child Stockton Ferry single ride|
|MyMulti 2 and 3||90 day - International Student ticket||
This is the final nail in the coffin for NSW's old paper ticketing system. Previously, Transport NSW culled a swathe of other paper tickets including the yearly and quarterly MyTrain tickets which provide upfront discounts of around 20 per cent. These latest changes mean Opal is now your only choice as a paying customer.
While weekly travellers have largely embraced Opal, the old method was still favoured by tech-shy pensioners and occasional commuters who rarely use public transport. The latter group will now need to buy an Opal single trip ticket -- which are sold at a premium -- or spend more than they need on an Opal card. Over-the-counter Opal top-ups start at $10 for adults and go up in $10 increments. This obviously isn't ideal if you only require a single $11 fare, for instance.
The decision to scrap airport train tickets will also be problematic for some customers, particularly those who need to claim work expenses when travelling. We're all for technological progress, but it's fair to say that NSW's payment system for public transport needs more options rather than less. Share your views in the comments.