NSW is killing off paper tickets on public transport from next month

Sydney commuters. Photo: Mark Kolbe/ Getty Images.

Public transport users in New South Wales have four weeks left to use any outstanding paper tickets, with transport minister Andrew Constance announcing today that the system will move to Opal cards only from August 1.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said Opal is now being used for 95% of all public transport trips, so it’s time to end paper tickets.

“With the single electronic system we can move to the next stage in ticketing, with a customer trial in 2017 for tapping on with credit and debit cards,” he said.

But people who don’t have an Opal card shouldn’t worry.

“Presently customers who don’t have their Opal card can purchase an Opal single trip ticket through top up machines for travel on trains, light rail and ferries, and from 1 August an Opal single bus ticket will become available on-board buses,” he said.

“There are now more than 350 Opal top up machines placed at locations that provide coverage for 99% of all train trips, and our busiest light rail stops and ferry wharves. Plus 255 of these machines sell the last resort Opal single trip ticket.”

The government also launched the Opal Travel app so customers can top up on the go. But following a recommendation from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, single trip tickets will attract a premium, compared to normal Opal card fares from September 5.

“NSW is not alone in setting a premium fare for single trip tickets, with electronic ticketing systems, like in Brisbane or London, encouraging customers to travel with smartcards,” Constance said.

Since Opal was launched in December 2012, more than 7.5 million cards have been issued.

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