News

November 24, 2014

OPAL TO GO LIVE ON 1 DECEMBER

Media Release by Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian


OPAL TO GO LIVE ON LIGHT RAIL MONTHS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AS 1.4 MILLION CARDS ISSUED

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced customers will be able to use their Opal card to tap onto Sydney Light Rail services from next Monday 1 December – a number of months ahead of the planned start date of early 2015. 

More than 1.4 million Opal cards have now been issued and thanks to Opal’s daily 
travel caps and free weekly travel rewards, customers have clocked up more than 20 million free trips on trains, buses and Sydney Ferries’ services.

Ms Berejiklian said Opal electronic ticketing is transforming public transport in NSW and now thousands more customers will be able to take advantage of modern and convenient travel when Opal rolls out to light rail.

“From next week light rail customers will be able to tap on and tap off services from 23 stops between Dulwich Hill and Central and interchange seamlessly with trains, ferries and buses,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Labor first promised electronic ticketing in 1997 in time for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. All they managed was to do was waste $100 million and leave us with a court case to resolve."

“This government allowed pensioners and concession holders to take advanta ge of discount travel on light rail for the first time, and now everyone will be able to use their Opal card on light rail services."

“The community waited for 16 years to catch up with other global cities and it has taken the hard work of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to not only get Opal rolled out, but fast-track it on Sydney Ferries, trains, most buses and now light rail."

“This is great news for customers who have been flocking to the new Inner West Light Rail Extension since we opened it earlier this year. The light rail now links the community with popular locations in Sydney’s centre and the Inner West, including Chinatown, Darling Harbour, the Sydney Fish Market and Leichhardt.”

Ms Berejiklian said customers catching light rail with Opal will need to get used to tapping on at light rail stops before they board and tapping off after they get off their light rail service so the system can calculate the distance they have travelled.

Opal light rail fares will be calculated by distance and cost the same as bus fares. The majority of light rail customers will be the same or better off under Opal and everyone will benefit from the convenience of never having to queue for a ticket again.

For an Opal card customer travelling on light rail from Glebe to Central the single adult fare will be $2.10, compared to the $4.60 they pay today with a paper ticket. For weekly travel an Opal customer will save $6.20 with a fare of $16.80 when compared to $23.00 for a light rail paper weekly ticket.

Opal offers savings for those interchanging between trains and light rail. For example a customer who catches light rail from Arlington to Lewisham West, then a train from Lewisham to Town Hall will pay only $5.40 (peak train) and $4.40 (off -peak train), compared to a paper light rail ticket and train ticket fare of $7.40.

Most customers catching buses and light rail also save with Opal, and when the CBD and South East Light Rail is completed in 2019, all light rail customers interchanging with buses will only pay one fare, calculated from the start of their trip on one mode to the end of their trip on the other.

Customers can get an Adult or Child/Youth Opal card or top-up at any time online, over the phone by calling 13 OPAL (13 67 25) or from more than 1,400 Opal retailer stores.

Many customers are choosing to set their Opal card to auto top up, like an e-tag, so they never have to worry about manually loading money to travel.

Seniors and pensioners can have their Gold Opal card sent to their home by calling 13 67 25 (13 Opal) or visiting opal.com.au. Since the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card was launched earlier this month, more than 80,000 cards have been ordered.