Light rail travellers will receive an early Christmas present next Monday when they are able to use their Opal Cards on Sydney’s light rail system and save money on some fares.
Opal Cards have already been rolled out across trains and ferries and most buses but until now Sydney’s light rail system has been an Opal-free zone.
It is a welcome move – and delivered several months ahead of target – particularly as some journeys will now become cheaper with an Opal card than they currently are with a paper ticket.
Light rail fares will be calculated by distance and cost the same as bus fares. For example, the single adult fare from Glebe to Central will cost $2.10, compared with $4.60 with a paper ticket. This translates to a weekly saving of $6.20.
NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said customers interchanging between light rail and trains would also save money. For example, using an Opal card to catch the light rail from Arlington (Dulwich Hill) to Lewisham West and then a train to Town Hall would cost $4.40 off-peak and $5.40 peak compared with $7.40.
Once the CBD and South East Light Rail is completed, travellers using the light rail and buses will only buy one ticket and pay one fare across the whole trip.
It’s the second win for NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian this month, after the minister announced that pensioners would be able to buy Gold Opal cards to secure concessionary travel around the state.
Opal is also due to go live on buses in Newcastle and in the Hunter by the end of the year.
Ms Berejiklian said thousands more customers would benefit from the light rail rollout.
“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.
“This government allowed pensioners and concession holders to take advantage 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.”
Sydney’s light rail system has become increasingly popular with travellers since the arrival of the Inner West Light Rail Extension, which connects Dulwich Hill, Leichhardt and Petersham to Darling Harbour and the City and is disability and pram-friendly, unlike train stations at Dulwich Hill and Petersham.
So far 1.4 million Opal cards have been sold but students remain outside the Opal fold with no date set for when they will be able to buy their concession Opal cards.
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