Media Release 2014-03-12 — Opal

North Western commuters will be slugged Opal transfer fee, but Eastern Suburbs commuters wont be.

It has been revealed that passengers travelling in the Eastern Suburbs will not pay the Opal transfer penalty when changing from their truncated bus routes to the new CBD & South East Light Rail.

However passengers in the North Western Suburbs will pay the Opal transfer penalty when the Government cuts bus routes to force passengers on to the new privately operated single deck North West Rail Link.

“In every other modern city that has introduced smart-card ticketing they have taken the opportunity to integrate fares and remove the transfer penalty. However the NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has shown that the government intends to use the Opal card to silently increase fares.” said Mathew Hounsell the co-convenor of Ecotransit Sydney.

“The NSW government controls the bus routes in Sydney and have revealed their plans to cut bus services when the private operator begins running Melbourne style trains on the North West Rail line. Not only will the NSW government force passengers to transfer onto cramped trains with few seats, they will then charge people extra for the privilege.”

“Marginal Coalition electorates in the Eastern Suburbs will not only get better but also cheaper public transport, while the safe Coalition electorates in the North West again get shafted. And yes, the government plans to continue subsidising the M5 tolls of the voters in the South West marginal electorates.”

“It’s not rocket science, to be fair and reduce congestion the government needs to abolish the money grab that is the Opal transfer penalty.” said Mathew Hounsell

Ecotransit Sydney is a community based public and active transport advocacy group. Contact Mathew Hounsell on 0425 211 120, @transitsyd, ecotransit.org.au

[1] Jacob Saulwick, 2014-03-12, “‘Two-tiered’ ticket plan under fire”, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney

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