The popular Opal network has clocked up two billion customer trips since the electronic ticketing system was launched in December 2012.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who introduced the electronic ticketing system in 2012, celebrated the milestone at Wynyard station today.
“Reaching two billion Opal trips is an exciting milestone showing how far the Opal card has come since we launched it on a single ferry route trial at Neutral Bay,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Now in 2018, Opal geographically is the world’s largest electronic ticketing system, covering 40,000 square kilometres, 310 train stations, 44 wharves, 23 light rail stops and 39,599 bus stops.
“Since August 2016, when paper tickets were retired, there are now more than 3.7 million Opal Cards being used to complete more than 56 million trips a month and an average of 13 million trips a week,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Opal is the easiest and most affordable way for regular travellers to get around on Sydney’s public transport network offering incentives such as the weekly travel reward, the transfer discount, the $2.60 Sunday cap for Adults and daily reduced fares for Concession and Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card users, including the $2.50 daily cap for Gold Opal cards.
The transfer discount has resulted in $160 million being returned to the pockets of customers since it was introduced in September 2016.
By using Gold Opal, about 500,000 NSW pensioners are estimated to save around $33 million annually compared to a regular concession fare cap.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said: “We’ve always put commuters first. Since Opal’s introduction in 2012, average Opal fares have not risen above CPI. While we’ve made plenty of improvements to public transport and are investing record amounts in transport infrastructure, we also focused on keeping fares affordable.”
“The data we capture through the Opal card is helping to inform our future planning and how we move people through train stations, bus stops and ferry wharves in the most efficient way possible,” Mr Constance said.
“Since 2011 we have introduced almost 30,000 additional weekly public transport services and we have been able to design these services to suit our customers travel patterns.”
The NSW Government’s expansion of Opal includes the launch of OpalPay to private transport services, an ongoing trial of contactless transport payments on ferries and light rail, and the new Opal Park and Ride, which offers free car parking for public transport users.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals record on Opal is a great example of the Government’s ability to deliver. In 1996, the previous Labor Government promised to have the T-Card in place by the 2000 Olympics. It bungled its delivery and left the taxpayer with a multi-million dollar bill and nothing to show for it.