Opal rolls out to almost 600 buses in Sydney’s North West as free trips hit 4 million
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced Opal electronic ticketing will roll out to around 600 buses in Sydney’s North West next week– the biggest single rollout on buses so far, covering 15 million customer journeys a year.
Ms Berejiklian said this is great news for Western Sydney and means the end of having tickets marked off with a pen for so many customers.
From next Monday Opal will be available to customers for the first time on 68 bus routes, carrying 15 million customer journeys a year from Sydney’s North West into Parramatta, Macquarie Park, North Sydney and the Sydney CBD,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This milestone means we will double the footprint of Opal on buses and give thousands more customers access to cheaper fares and more convenient travel.”
There are now more than 340,000 Opal cards issued and customers have already made around 20 million journeys across all suburban and intercity trains, all Sydney Ferries services and 47 bus routes in the CBD, North Shore and Eastern Suburbs.
Ms Berejiklian said customers can travel for free anywhere on the Opal network once they have reached their weekly travel cap of eight paid journeys during the week, or reached their daily cap. So far more than 4 million free trips have been taken with Opal.
“This is the fantastic thing about Opal – travelling for free will increase patronage once customers realise they can jump on and off public transport without paying a thing.
This latest Opal rollout will cover buses in 30 suburbs in Western Sydney, including Castle Hill, Rouse Hill, Pennant Hills, Parramatta, Blacktown, and express services along the M2 Hills Motorway to the City.
Ms Berejiklian said at the moment Hillsbus customers buy a number of paper tickets that need to be marked off with a pen when they board the bus.
“This is simply not good enough, and is not the type of service we should expect in Sydney in the 21st century and I am pleased Opal will finally put an end to this,” she said.
“Opal customers can load money onto their card, set it to auto-top-up, and never queue for a ticket again. Opal means no more waiting in a queue to buy a ticket, or turning up to the bus stop and finding their Travelten has run out.
“Opal is quick to use, you simply tap on when you board you bus and tap off when you get off, and it automatically calculates your fare based on the straight line distance.”
Opal fares for buses include:
- Cheaper adult single bus fares of between two and nine per cent compared to MyBus paper tickets;
- Opal Weekly Travel Reward, earned after 8 paid journeys makes Monday to Friday twice a day bus travel cheaper than a MyBus TravelTen;
- A more customer-friendly bus-to-bus transfer fare system - if your transfer is within 60 minutes you will only be charged one fare corresponding to your whole journey.
The NSW Government has announced the retirement of a number of old paper ticket types from 1 September 2014. Tickets being retired can be purchased up until this date and can continue to be used by customers until they expire.
“Sydney is behind the rest of the world when it comes to electronic ticketing. Labor promised it more than a decade ago before the Sydney Olympics and failed to deliver,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re now seeing hundreds of thousands of customers with an Opal card, and as we continue to modernise the system, it’s time to start retiring some old paper tickets.”
By the end of 2014 more than 5,000 buses will have Opal across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra, and Southern Highlands. Light rail will follow in early 2015.
To find out more about which tickets are being retired, visit transportnsw.info.
To order an Adult or Child/Youth Opal card visit the Opal website or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL). The $2.50 daily capped Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card will be released later this year.