Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian recently announced the Opal card for senior and pensioner customers would be released in 2014, providing travel on all modes of public transport for no more than $2.50.
“This week I launched the new Child/Youth Opal card ahead of the school holidays, giving children all the benefits of the Adult Opal card, at half the price,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“One of the most common questions I am asked is: Will be there an Opal card for seniors and pensioners and how much will it cost?
“I am pleased to confirm the Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card will be available before the end of the year and fares for seniors and pensioners will remain capped at $2.50 for the day.
“I want seniors and pensioners to know that they will never pay more with a Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card. They will have the same entitlements as the current $2.50 Pensioner Excursion Ticket.”
Local State Member Pru Goward said it will be welcomed by the local community.
“My office has had a lot of enquiries as to when Senior/Pensioner cards will be available and it is great news that the fares will remain capped at $2.50”, Ms Goward said.
To help prepare for the rollout of the Opal Senior/Pensioner card there will be some changes to the way customers buy their paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets on board State Transit buses across metropolitan Sydney.
“New technology is being installed on State Transit buses to get ready for the Opal card, and this means customers will soon no longer be able to buy their paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets on board the bus,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Customers will need to buy their Pensioner Excursion Tickets before they travel on buses from more than 1,600 ticket sellers across Sydney, including newsagencies, 7-11 convenience stores, Australia Post and selected Woolworths stores.
“The vast majority of seniors and pensioners already buy their tickets before they board the bus – so the change will only affect a small percentage of customers,” Ms Berejiklian said.
To ensure there is a smooth transition for customers, a letter and information brochure will be sent to more than 230,000 seniors to let them know about the Opal card and provide them with a list of the retailers nearby where they can buy their bus tickets.
Information will also be made available ahead of time on buses and the Transport for NSW website.
“Before the end of the year, all pensioners and seniors will be able to get their own Gold Opal card, which means they won’t have to worry about buying a ticket or fumbling for coins ever
The Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card will provide lots of benefits for customers.
“Not only will pensioners and seniors benefit from the same low cap of no more than $2.50 a day, they will be able to access Opal’s Weekly Travel Reward, which means after eight paid journeys a week, they can travel for free on any mode of transport for the rest of the week,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The Opal card also means you never have to queue for tickets again. Most customers are choosing to link their Opal card to their debit or credit card so it automatically tops up – just like an e-tag.”
The Opal card is a safe and secure method for paying fares, allowing customers to travel without carrying cash for tickets.
Opal is now available on all Sydney Ferries and by the end of this week the rollout on Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink intercity trains will be completed. Two bus routes now have Opal,
with the remainder of public and private buses in Sydney, the Hunter, Illawarra and Blue Mountains to come on line by the end of the year.
Customers who are eligible to use a $2.50 Pensioner Excursion Ticket will be able to use a Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card. This includes any customer who holds one of the following:
- Seniors card issued by any Australian state or territory government; or
- Pensioner Concession card issued by the Australian Government; or
- NSW War Widows’ card issued by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.