Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian recently announced Opal top-up machines will be progressively rolled out to train stations, ferry wharves and light rail stops from early 2015, as the number of Opal cards issued reaches 1.5 million.
Testing will begin before the first machines start appearing on stations in Western Sydney and the CBD early next year. Close to 350 machines will be rolled out over the next 12 months, providing coverage for around 99 per cent of customers.
Ms Berejiklian said with 1.5 million Opal cards now issued and the system live on all trains, buses, light rail and Sydney Ferries, the NSW Government could focus on making Opal even more convenient for transport customers.
Three different types of top-up machines will be available for customers. The first 100 machines to roll out will allow customers to top-up on the spot with a debit or credit card, the second type will include disposable tickets and the third will also accept cash.
Customers can already get their Opal card or add value on-the-spot at more than 1,650 Opal retailers, including newsagencies, corner stores, Woolworths supermarkets and 7 Eleven stores located close to stations and transport hubs.
“In addition to the 1,650 Opal retailers across the network, the top-machines will provide another option for customers who want to add value to their Opal card on-the-go,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Most Opal customers have set auto top up so their card automatically tops up when their balance gets low, like an e-tag. Customers also have the option of loading value to their card over the phone or on-line 24/7.”
The NSW Government also released new apps providing Opal fare calculators so customers can estimate the cost of their trip on trains, buses, ferries and light rail.
“Customers can now download new fare calculator apps to work out how much their journey will cost with Opal. The Transport Info website also now shows Opal fare estimates when customers plan their trip,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The free fare calculator apps – Opal Travel and Opal Fares – can be downloaded via the iTunes app store or Google Play marketplaces. The new trip planner with fare estimations is available at the revamped www.transportnsw.info.
Adult and Child/Youth customers can get their Opal card at a local retailer or have it sent to their home by ordering a card on the Opal website opal.com.au or calling Opal on 13 67 25.
Seniors and pensioners can get their Gold Opal card by phoning Opal Customer Care, ordering their card online or visiting kiosks at selected shopping centres. It’s important to remember seniors and pensioners can continue to buy and use their paper Pensioner Excursion Tickets.
Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney