NSW’s transfer discount for Adult Opal card users has saved commuters $120 million over the past year, according to the state government.
Approximately 5.1 million passengers who transfer between different modes of public transport using their Opal card have reportedly benefitted from the discount ($2 for Adult cards, $1 for concession) since it came into effect 12 months ago.
“Anything the NSW Government can do to ease cost of living pressures is important and we have always said we want as many people to move across trains, buses and ferries without being penalised. This anniversary Opal data shows we have achieved both of those aims,” NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
The premier said the benefits of the rebate had been experienced by over half of all Opal card users over the past year, especially in areas like Greater Parramatta, Western Sydney and South West Sydney.
“The NSW Government is committed to putting commuters first. Since Opal’s introduction in 2012, average Opal fares have not risen above CPI. While we’ve made plenty of improvements to public transport and are investing record amounts, we want to keep fares affordable,” she said.
Transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance said the transfer rebate encouraged more people to use public transport and leave their cars at home.
Multi-mode travellers have become big winners with Opal, in fact, since the transfer discount was introduced there are many areas where it’s now actually cheaper to catch the bus to the station and then jump on the train – a reduced fare and you don’t have to battle for parking,” Constance said.
However, according to Labor’s transport spokesperson Jodi McKay the cost of travel had been increased by 12.5 per cent on average, after the government last year scrapped the scheme in which commuters received 1 free trip per 8 paid trips in a week.
“People are paying more for public transport, not less,” McKay was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Passengers now only receive a 50 per cent discount on all fares after their eighth paid journey for the week.