Paper ticket phase out highlights need for visitor Opal card

The NSW Government’s move to phase out paper tickets is a positive development but now it’s time for a dedicated visitor Opal card, CEO of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF), Margy Osmond said today.

“Moving more customers on to the highly-successful Opal Card is a sensible step,” Ms Osmond said.

“By encouraging commuters to use smartcards, our transport system can be more efficient, and it also frees up more staff to be put on platforms to assist travellers.

“Paper tickets do not have a long term future on our transport network, and the phase-out is a natural progression for the roll-out of smartcard tickets.

“However, today’s decision reinforces the need to introduce a special visitor Opal Card for the three million international visitors who come to Sydney every year.

“While visitors to Sydney will still be able to access single and return tickets, it would be beneficial to provide a single product that visitors can use for multiple journeys.

“This will encourage visitors to use our public transport network and also help make a complex system easier to navigate.

“The Opal card should also be made available for both public and private ferry services in order to enhance the offering of an Opal visitor product and encourage a fair, competitive environment.

“Domestic destinations such as Adelaide and Brisbane and overseas destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Stockholm and London have smartcard ticketing options specifically designed for visitors which also integrate information and sometimes access to visitor and cultural attractions.

“Introducing a visitor Opal Card that is simple to use and easy to buy would help enhance visitors’ experience of Sydney,” she said.