Customers at Central Coast stations up to Wyong will be able to tap on with Opal starting this Friday, making travel more convenient and providing opportunities for fare savings.
“Every single day hundreds of customers are registering with Opal to access the cheaper fares and convenience of never having to queue for tickets again,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The NSW Government continues to invest in modernising the rail network and I am so pleased that Central Coast customers will now be able to experience Opal.
“For the vast majority of customers fares will be cheaper and the more they travel, the more they will save.
“The start of Opal signals the end of fumbling for coins and ticket queues on a Monday morning – customers can link their Opal card to their credit or debit card and never have to worry about buying a ticket again.
“Under Opal we are offering cheaper fares for customers across the network and a further discount for people who travel outside of the peak. After eight paid journeys in a week every trip after that is free.
“We see great tourism opportunities from this for the Central Coast as people who travel to work in Sydney each day will be able to take the train to the Central Coast on the weekend without paying a cent.
“And for those who haven’t taken eight journeys, on Sundays there is a fare cap which means an Opal customer can travel to the Central Coast or anywhere on the Opal network for only $2.50.”
The new extension on Friday will roll Opal out to stations from Redfern to Strathfield, Strathfield to Hornsby, Chatswood to Wyong, and Epping to Chatswood. Opal is already active around the City Circle and to Bondi Junction and Chatswood.
More than 47,000 Opal cards have been registered by customers who have taken about 2.7 million trips using the new electronic ticketing system.
By the end of 2014, 40 ferry wharves, more than 300 train stations and more than 5,000 buses will be Opal accessible, with light rail due in 2015.
Gosford MP Chris Holstein said: “This is great news for Central Coast commuters and will make taking public transport that much more attractive and easier.”
The Entrance MP Chris Spence said: “I’m really pleased that the Government is offering fare savings for people who use public transport often – the more people use Opal the more they save.”
Wyong MP Darren Webber said: “The former Labor Government promised electronic ticketing by the Sydney 2000 Olympics so it really shows what an achievement it is for the Liberal & National Government to progress this project so fare in less than three years.”
The NSW Government continues to invest heavily in improving public transport on the Central Coast, including by:
· Introducing a new train timetable with 1200 extra seats to Sydney each morning, more connections to Newcastle and faster travel times;
· The introduction of quiet carriages which 90 percent of passengers feel improves their overall travel experience;
· The establishment of NSW TrainLink to focus wholly on the needs of intercity and regional customers;
· A new project to refresh all 200 of the popular intercity V Set carriages which serve the Central Coast.
· The establishment of the Police Transport Command to provide a safer experience on public transport for Central Coast commuters.