There is likely to be major confusion at local train stations this morning, with a number of paper ticket options dumped from today.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has urged public transport customers to be patient and make sure they’re well prepared, with the retirement of some paper tickets as the rollout of Opal electronic ticketing continues.
The retirement of 14 paper ticket types comes as more than 700,000 Opal cards have now been issued, including more than 120,000 in the last fortnight.
There are still more than 20 paper tickets available from today, but customers are being encouraged to use Opal to take advantage of the many benefits, including cheaper travel for many customers, and never having to queue up for a ticket again.
Ms Berejiklian said Opal has been progressively rolled out on public transport since December 2012 and customers are now taking around 3 million journeys every week using their Opal card.
“The NSW Government is rolling out a modern electronic ticketing system to bring Sydney’s public transport system into the 21st century and catch up with other major cities around the world,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Retiring some old paper tickets is just the next step in modernising public transport in NSW. We are really pleased with the take up of Opal so far.
“Labor first committed to deliver electronic ticketing back in 1997, and not only did they fail, they wasted $100 million on their embarrassing T-Card project.
“While many customers have already made the move to Opal, I am expecting some queues at train stations and ferry wharves today as some customers realise their regular paper tickets are no longer available.
“There may also be some queues at ticket gates at busy CBD stations as many customers get used to using their Opal card for the first time.
“Train stations and ferry wharves are normally very busy on a Monday morning, and with the retirement of some paper tickets, I am asking customers to allow a little extra time and be patient on their morning commute.”
Ms Berejiklian said it is now easier than ever before to get an Opal card, and customers can take advantage of free unlimited travel after eight journeys and off peak travel discounts.
“Many customers are choosing to set their card to auto-top-up so they never have to worry about loading money or queuing again, just like having an e-tag,” she said.
“Customers are now able to use their Opal card to tap on and tap off all trains, all Sydney Ferries and more than 2,800 buses – with the rollout on track to be completed on buses by the end of the year.
“It’s important that pensioners and seniors remember they can keep buying and using their paper tickets after September 1, after the release of the Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card later this year, and well into the future.”
There are still more than 20 paper tickets available, including single and returns, and all bus products. Customers who have a periodical ticket can continue to use it until it expires. For example, a yearly purchased last week can be used until August 2015.
Customers can order their Opal card 24 hours a day from opal.com.au or by calling 13 67 25 (13 OPAL). They can also get an Opal card on-the-spot at 1,000 retailers including 7-Eleven and Woolworths, and pop-up-kiosks at 50 train stations and selected Westfield Shopping Centres.