Sydney Commute Becomes Expensive, Govt Scraps Opal Card Incentive

Opal card

Opal card incentives will no longer be applicable to Sydney commuters from Monday onwards as the government has scrapped the scheme.

Sydney opal card holders who used to enjoy cheaper rides than other commuters will no longer get free trips but they will receive a $2 rebate on their journey when they switch modes of transport to work on a single journey. The government has confirmed that commuters, regardless of their opal cards, will have to pay half the price for their trip once they complete eight journeys using the card incentive. The rule will be applicable to commuters from Monday onwards.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance addressed the media and said that in the last hearing of the budget estimates, he scrapped the card incentive scheme for a “very good reason” and to make sure more improved services are offered to people, for which they might have to pay for.

“We’re rebalancing the Opal weekly travel reward to replace free travel after eight paid journeys to half price fares,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying. “The new $2 ‘transfer discount’ is now given every time an adult Opal card customer changes a mode of transport as part of the same journey,” Constance added.

The only thing the commuters need to remember is to swipe their Adult Opal cards while traveling long routes on buses and trains or other modes of transport to ensure they receive the “transfer discount” of $2. Earlier, regular commuters were allowed free trips after they complete eight trips in a week.

One of the regular commuters from Sydney’s inner west said that now, she would prefer driving later in the week to take her young sons Alby and Byron for day trips. “I work four days a week, and usually on the fifth day I would take the boys somewhere [via public transport],” she said. “It would be more worthwhile for me to drive now.”

Besides the above announcement, according to Yahoo News report, Constance also confirmed that there will be no increase in Opal card fares until July 2017.

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