The historic transition towards a modern integrated electronic ticketing system on public transport will occur onMonday 1 August 2016 when the last of the old paper tickets will no longer be sold or accepted.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said that customers have embraced Opal, with 2 million customers taking 13 million journeys a week. “Opal is being used for 95% of all public transport trips,” Mr Constance said.
“Given the enormous success, it’s now time to stop running two ticketing systems and move to one convenient system that enables future innovation.
“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.”
Since the roll-out of Opal began in December 2012 customers have taken 800 million trips and we have issued more than 7.5 million cards, with 1 million Gold Senior/Pensioner cards, 700,000 Child/Youth cards, and 350,000 School Opal cards.
Mr Constance said we are continually enhancing the customer experience with Opal – just this year we launched the award winning Opal Travel app so customers can top up on the go.
“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.”
“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.”
Following the recommendation from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, single trip tickets will be set to a standard premium fare across modes when 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.”
A comprehensive information campaign will roll out from today to remind the remaining customers who don’t have Opal that it’s time to make the switch.