The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) supports the changes to Sydney’s Opal ticketing system that reduce the financial penalty for transferring between travel modes and introduces half-price fares after the eighth trip effective today.
“The NSW Government has introduced pragmatic changes to make Opal fairer overall for Sydney’s public transport users,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“TTF has been a vocal critic of the unfair penalty of paying full fares when switching between modes. The $2 discount will take some of the sting out of switching between buses, trains, trams and ferries and encourage people to use the best mix of modes to get to their destination.
“We need to be realistic that free public transport after the eighth trip was part of the incentive to switch to Opal and get the system bedded down over the five years of its implementation, but like all good things even this must come to an end.
“Half-price fares after your eighth trip is still a cracker deal and makes public transport a very attractive proposition for weekends.”
A recent TTF survey of more than 300 NSW residents, for the Australian Transport Summit held in late August, revealed that 42 per cent were willing to pay higher fares for better public transport services, 30 per cent wanted to pay less and 28 per cent were unsure.
“We do need to move towards a more financially sustainable public transport system especially if we want to see it expanded with new light rail and metro routes and brand new trains, buses, ferries and trams.
“With nearly one in three people unsure about what they are willing to pay for public transport, there is an opportunity for the NSW Government to continue to demonstrate value for money with improved services and new infrastructure. Sydneysiders are pragmatic enough to recognise that we don’t get world-class public transport for nothing, we’ve all got to chip in.
“Our survey also shows that NSW residents are keen to jump on the next wave of transport technology with 52 per cent wanting to use their smartphone or bank card to use the public transport network.”