Events, Passenger Rail, Social Governance

Tap into a dozen fare-free days

Millions of free trips will be taken across NSW’s Opal network as people tap into a fare-free period designed to boost business and get the community moving.

Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins said with floods, industrial action, and COVID-19, it had been a challenging time for many. “This initiative will deliver some hip pocket relief, encourage people to enjoy what Greater Sydney has to offer, and also provide a boost to businesses,” he said. 

“Head out to the Easter Show, catch a game of footy or dinner with family and friends, and help revitalise our city centres and support local communities.”

Station staff will assist commuters if they encounter any problems during the fare-free period but people are reminded to be patient and to tap on and off with either an Opal card with a positive balance, or a contactless credit or debit card to help ensure the transport network runs effectively.

“While fares will not be charged to commuters during this period, the Opal system will still operate, as it helps Transport for NSW and other operators plan services and keep people safe by monitoring passenger numbers and capacity across the network,” Collins said.

“To access free fares, simply tap on and tap off with a valid Opal card or contactless credit or debit card (American Express, Mastercard or Visa card).

“If you are travelling with school children, remember you should use a valid Child/Youth Opal card as School Opal cards do not work during school holidays.”

The 12 days of fare-free travel started at 4am on 14 April, and will run to 3:59am on 26 April. Commuters are reminded to plan ahead and spread their travel.

“For those catching a flight over the holidays, make sure you leave enough time to get to the airport and if you’re taking the train, you will still be required to pay for the station access fee,” Collins said.

People attending events with integrated ticketing during the 12-day fare-free period can show their ticket to staff at the station or when boarding services, or tap on and tap off as normal for free travel.

What commuters need to know to enjoy fare free travel:

  • The fare-free period covers all Opal network services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra, and includes Metro, train, bus, light rail and ferry services. Sydney Ferries services (F1-F9), Newcastle Ferries, Manly Fast Ferry and the NRMA electric ferry between King Street Wharf and Pyrmont Bay Wharf will be free during the fare free period. Other ferry services (including the F10) will continue to charge as usual.
  • Free fares will apply automatically, and customers do not need to apply for a refund to get free travel. If an Opal fare reader incorrectly charges a customer during the fare-free period due to a technical fault, the customer will be automatically credited when they next tap on the network. For more information about the free fares, or to query a charge for your Opal network travel, customers should send an enquiry via transportnsw.info/feedback.
  • The fare-free 12 days does not cover NSW TrainLink Regional trains and coaches including XPT and Xplorer services.
  • Commuters will need to use an Opal card with a positive balance or contactless credit or debit card (Visa/ Amex/ Mastercard), to tap on and tap off each time to get free travel.
  • Students should tap on and tap off with a Child/Youth Opal card with a positive balance. Remember School Opal cards do not work during school holiday periods, but staff will ensure that children and students won’t be left behind.
  • When you enter or exit the train station at Sydney Domestic Airport or Sydney International Airport, commuters will need to pay the station access fee portion of the fare. The Adult station access fee for Opal card or contactless travel is $15.13 for adults, and $13.54 for Child/Youth, Concession and Senior/Pensioner fares. 
  • Commuters will continue to enjoy free parking at Transport Park&Ride car parks for up to 18 hours. To access free Park&Ride car parking, commuters need to tap on and tap off as normal using an accepted Opal card or contactless credit or debit card.
  • For commuters tapping on with a contactless payment card or device, a pre-authorisation $1 charge will appear as a pending transaction on your statement and will be reversed at the end of the day.