NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the Opal rollout is now complete on all trains, all buses, all Sydney Ferries and all light rail services – months ahead of schedule.
“Opal has revolutionised public transport in NSW – customers are finally enjoying the convenience of electronic ticketing in the same way people in other cities around Australia and the world have for many years,” Mr Baird said.
As part of the rollout:
“We started the first customer trial of Opal on ferries in December 2012 and now just two years later we have rolled the system out to 308 train stations, 5,000 buses, 40 wharves and 23 light rail stops, well ahead of the 2015 deadline we set ourselves.
“The system stretches from Bomaderry to Scone and from Bathurst to Bondi Junction.
“While many smart card systems around the world have been plagued with issues, to the great credit of Gladys Berejiklian, this government has completed the world’s largest geographical rollout of electronic ticketing successfully – and people are loving it.”
Ms Berejiklian said customer take-up of Opal has exceeded her expectations and by putting an end to paper ticket queues and fumbling for coins, Opal is transforming the way people catch public transport in this state.
“With Opal now available on all modes of transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter and the Illawarra, customers can travel anywhere on suburban and intercity trains, buses, ferries and light rail with just one card,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Opal is making travel more attractive and convenient for customers, and with rewards like free travel after eight paid journeys a week, we now know half of all public transport trips on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, are free.
“We’re seeing more people catch public transport thanks to the Opal card, weekend patronage on trains is up almost 12 per cent and customers are no longer standing in lengthy and frustrating Monday morning train station ticket queues every week.
“More than 50 per cent of all registered Opal customers have set their card to auto top up, like an e-tag, and the remainder are topping up online, over the phone or from more than 1,500 Opal retailers located close to train stations and transport hubs.
“Today is a huge milestone in the public transport reforms this government is rolling out in NSW and goes to show that unlike Labor, when we say we will deliver something, people can trust that we will get on with the job and do it.”
Adult and Child/Youth customers can get their Opal card at a local retailer or have it sent to their home by ordering a card on the Opal website www.opal.com.au or calling Opal on 13 67 25 (13 OPAL).
Seniors and pensioners can get their Gold Opal card by phoning Opal Customer Care or ordering their card online. It’s important to remember seniors and pensioners can continue to buy and use their paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets if they choose. Tertiary students will be able to start using the Concession Opal card next year.