To the people around the world, OPAL is a white or clear stone that reflects changing colours used in jewellery. The meaning of opal is not limited to just that much for the people of Sydney, Australia. Opal is Australia’s national gemstone, and that’s where the name for the smart card for transportation there comes from. In Sydney area of New South Wales Australia, Opal is the contactless smart card ticketing system for the public transportation. All procedures of having opal card and having Opal card registration is easy and quick process.
The trial for the Opal card was launched in 7th December 2012. It is a smartcard used for transportation while you are travelling in Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunters Region, Illawarra and the Southern islands in regional New South Wales. The use of the Opal card is managed by the Transport for New South Wales. It follows “Pay as you go” system for its use across all modes of transportation that it accepts. Once you have got your Opal card and you load your value in it, it can be used for nine years.
Opal card Registration
Opal cards are of different types, differentiated according to their colour. Opal cards may either be reusable or non-reusable. Under reusable, there are Opal cards for adults, child/youth, senior/pensioner, concession and school which are coloured black, green, gold, silver and blue respectively. For veterans and vision impaired persons, there are free Opal cards as well. You can get your Opal card online (www.opal.com.au) or through Opal retailers, selected transport customer service centres and shops and selected service New South Wales locations. These Opal cards are accepted by Sydney train network, intercity trains network, Sydney Buses Network, Outer City Metropolitan Area bus networks, Sydney Ferries network and New Castle Ferries. It is good to do opal card registration going through the official website of Opal at www.opal.com.au.
Opal card cost
How this Opal cards work is once you get your opal card through any mentioned sources, you have to place money in the Opal card which is known as topping up. The minimum cost for an adult is 10$ and for a child is 5$ at first. Then you will have to top up whenever the balance finishes. There are more than 2000 retailers that provide top-up services across NSW. There are Opal card readers, and the fares are calculated by distance travelled. The distance is measured from the user’s tap on to tap off. Thus, you should not forget to tap off once you have tapped on to ensure credible calculation of the fare. You can do opal card registration from the official website and the important thing is that Opal card registration is also free.
Opal card fare changes
To understand the facilities provided by NSW transport in Opal card, you should first understand what trip and journey are. The trip is a one route travel, i.e. from the tap on to tap off in one mode (e.g.: bus trip). If you transfer to another mode, e.g. ferry or train, a new trip is commenced. The journey is a collection of 1 or more trips. To make the trips count in a journey, two trips should have a difference of 1 hour. If not, it will be counted as one trip. After the journey count of 8 is reached during the week Monday to Sunday, all subsequent travel is half price for the rest of the week. There were a big Opal fare changes from free to half price after 5th September 2016.
How to save money in Opal card?
You can save money in Opal cards as it is a smarter way to travel in public transportation. You can do so in different ways. Firstly, you can travel in off peak times if you catch a train as the charge is less during that period. Within Sydney Trains Network, the peak time is 7 am to 9 am and 16 pm to 18:30 pm. You can save some money by getting on the train either a little earlier or a little later than these peak times. You can also make use of your travel reward i.e. getting 50% discount after eight journeys. For this, you can make eight journeys in the 1st couple of days of the week. Like, you can make plans on Mondays that require you to use the transportation. If your office is near to bus stops, you can make short travels on a bus to go on coffee breaks. Also, understand about the travel caps. They help to save money too. The daily travel cap benefits you. You as an adult don’t have to pay more than 15$ a day and as a child, no more than 7.5$ a day to travel anywhere in the network. With weekly travel cap, you don’t need to pay more than 60$ for the whole week. There is Sunday travel cap as well. You can travel on Sundays when the maximum fare is 2.5$ all day, and if you have already hit 60$ maximum in the week, you will not even have to pay that. The main thing that should not be forgotten is to tap off after you tap on. Otherwise, you will be levied more charge than you should have. Also, it is cheaper if you use reusable Opal card than non-reusable. The single trip/ non-reusable card costs you 20% more than the reusable one.
These incentives are for the users, and if using them with a little effort of yours can save up some money, it is a great thing to take advantage of, isn’t it? If you live close to the city, Sydney, it’s an everyday opportunity for you to save some money. So, play things the right way and do some savings for yourself with Opal card.