They had to wait their turn, but Sydney’s university students are getting their concession cards under the city’s new Opal smart card scheme.
More than two million Opal cards have now been sold, and tertiary students attending the University of Sydney and the University of NSW able to purchase concession cards from February 2.
University of Notre Dame and Australian Catholic University students will be able to buy concession cards from February 9, while University of Wollongong students will be eligible from February 16.
Macquarie University students will be able to buy concession Opal cards from February 23, and the last institution on the schedule at the moment, Navitas English, will come online on March 5.
When it was initially advertised, the Opal scheme included a card for tertiary students. Closer to the launch date of the first Opal card, however, tertiary cards were not present in advertising brochures, or for pre-purchase on the promotional Opal website.
A source explained to Rail Express that this was due to technicalities regarding the interface between each individual university and Sydney Trains’ system.
State minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian thanked the universities involved for their cooperation in setting up the system for tertiary students, and said the seven participating tertiary institutions had worked closely with Transport for NSW to ensure they were ready for electronic ticketing.
“I’m delighted we have been able to start the rollout of the Concession Opal card in time for the start of classes, so students can immediately start taking advantage of Opal’s benefits,” Berejiklian said.
“Eventually more than 250,000 tertiary students will be able to apply for the Concession Opal card and get a 50% discount on the already cheaper Adult Opal fares for trains, buses, light rail and Sydney Ferries.”