Opal rollout expands to State Transit buses in Sydney's East
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced Opal electronic ticketing will start rolling out on State Transit buses, with five bus routes in Sydney’s eastern suburbs to join the Opal network from Monday.
Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government successfully fast-tracked Opal on all Sydney Ferries services and 308 Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink stations, and is now turning its attention to buses.
"We’re getting on with the job of delivering Opal to all public transport customers, making their travel simpler and easier and ensuring they never have to queue for a ticket again," she said.
"Travelling with Opal is cheaper for the overwhelming majority of customers, with daily fare caps and free travel rewards for frequent public transport users."
Five bus routes, 326, 327, 355, 361 and L24, will go-live with Opal over a two-week period from Monday 28 April. Customers can already use their Opal card on route 333, which was the first State Transit bus to go live with Opal as part of a customer trial.
"These services originate from the Waverley depot and carry customers between the beach, Bondi Junction and the city, and on to Marrickville," Ms Berejiklian said.
The rollout of Opal on State Transit services is different to the rollout on private buses and will mean some changes to the way customers buy their tickets.
"State Transit routes include buses from multiple depots, so it will take a number of weeks before every bus on a single route can accept Opal. When a bus goes live with Opal, customers will see an ‘Opal Bus’ sign on the front of the bus and by the side door," she said.
As announced earlier this month, the rollout of Opal technology onto State Transit buses means Pensioner Excursion Tickets can no longer be sold on-board State Transit buses in the Sydney metropolitan area.
"The vast majority of seniors and pensioners already buy their tickets before they board the bus – so the change will only affect a small percentage of customers," she said.
From 1 June 2014, State Transit customers will need to pre-purchase their Pensioner Excursion Tickets before they board the bus from more than 1,600 outlets across Sydney including 7-11 convenience stores, newsagents, Australia Post and Woolworths stores.
Eastern suburbs customers will be impacted by the change earlier, as Opal starts rolling out from Monday. These customers are encouraged to start buying their tickets before they board the bus from Monday.
"I would like to assure these customers that drivers will assist them with the transition and I have made it clear to State Transit that seniors and pensioners must not be disadvantaged by the changes," Ms Berejiklian said.
To ensure there is a smooth transition, a letter and information brochure is being sent to more than 230,000 seniors to let them know about the Opal card and provide them with a list of the retailers nearby where they can now buy their bus tickets.
Information is also being made available on buses and the Transport for NSW website.
"I am pleased to confirm the Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card will be available before the end of the year and fares for seniors and pensioners will remain capped at $2.50 for the day," Ms Berejiklian said
"I want seniors and pensioners to know that they will never pay more with a Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card. They will have the same entitlements as the current $2.50 Pensioner Excursion Ticket."
To find ticket sellers, customers should call 131 500 or visit transportnsw.info. Pensioner Excursion ticket arrangements for State Transit buses in Newcastle and private buses will not change.
Opal is now accepted on all Sydney Ferries services from Manly to Parramatta and all train stations from Bathurst to Bondi Junction and Dungog to Bomaderry, plus 25 privately-operated bus routes in northern Sydney’s Kuring-gai and Hornsby region.
To order an Adult or Child/Youth card go to www.opal.com.au or call 13 67 25.