The Opal card rollout at all Blue Mountains train stations on April 11 will deliver lower fares and easier journeys for thousands of commuters, according to Blue Mountains MP Roza Sage.
Mrs Sage spoke with local commuter Annette Saling at Springwood station last week about the new electronic ticketing system. Mrs Saling, who commutes daily to Parramatta, spoke positively about the Opal card’s introduction.
“I’ve been catching the train to Parramatta for work for years now so I know how inconvenient the current paper ticketing system can be,” said Mrs Saling.
“The Opal card and its automatic top-up feature will definitely make my trip to work each day a lot easier. Swiping on and off instead of messing around with the ticket machines could be the difference between making and missing the train on rushed days.
“The savings I will make each week are really just an added bonus to what I think is going to be a great thing on the trains.”
Mrs Saling’s weekly travel costs will be reduced from $52 to $50.40 thanks to the Opal Weekly Travel Reward, which means that after eight paid journeys on the Opal network in a week all journeys after that are free for the remainder of the week (Monday to Sunday).
Mrs Sage said this was just one of the many savings features available, including a $2.50 Sunday travel cap which will encourage more tourists to travel to the Blue Mountains on the weekends.
“This is a great step forward for Blue Mountains commuters,” said Mrs Sage. “I will happily sing Opal’s praises and in fact have already ordered my own card for my regular trips to Sydney.”
The Opal’s introduction was criticised by opposition transport spokeswoman Penny Sharpe and Blackheath commuter Michael Paag in last week’s Gazette.
“Despite the ill-informed claims in the Gazette last week, it would be impossible for a Blue Mountains commuter to pay $75 per week to travel on trains with an Opal card. This is guaranteed by the Opal Weekly Travel Reward and $15 daily cap.
“My office would be more than happy to provide accurate information to any resident who would like to know what the Opal card will really mean for them. They should feel free to contact the office on 4751-3298.
“I have no doubt this would be far more beneficial than the lies spread by a Labor Party still smarting from the fact they wasted $100 million of taxpayers’ money on the failed T-Card system and delivered nothing.”
A Blue Mountains Opal Fact sheet is available at www.rozasage.com.au.