Tap into the transport option for tertiary students
Opal for tertiary students
The Concession Opal card gives you all the convenience and flexibility of Opal, with fares at half the price of the Adult Opal card for travel on transport services including:
- All Sydney Trains
- All NSW TrainLink Intercity services
- All buses in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra
- All Sydney Ferries and the Stockton Ferry in Newcastle
- Light rail
Who can apply?
If you’re eligible and at one of the following tertiary institutions you can apply for a Concession Opal card. See how to apply below.
You're eligible to apply for a Concession Opal card if you:
- Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia
- Reside in New South Wales
- Are enrolled in an Australian Qualifications Framework, accredited higher education or vocational education and training course, at a tertiary institution authorised by Transport for NSW to issue tertiary student concessions
- Are a full-time student enrolled on an internal basis (except where a person, by reason of disability, is enrolled on a part-time basis and/or on an external basis)
Note: ‘a full-time student’ means:
- a university student who is considered to be enrolled on a full-time basis by their university; or
- a student at an Institution other than a university who is enrolled in an accredited course of study requiring at least 16 hours per week of classes for a continuous period of at least six weeks.
For full details, see the Guidelines for Issuing NSW Tertiary Student Concessions.
Note: the green Tertiary Student Concession Cards and foil stickers have been discontinued and replaced by a new proof of entitlement – the Transport Concession Entitlement Card. For travel within the Opal network, tertiary students will require one of the following (in conjunction with their Concession Opal card):
See below for further details.
Travelling with your Concession Opal card
You must carry these cards when you travel inside the Opal network:
If your institution doesn’t issue an Approved Form of Student ID card, or if you are travelling outside the Opal network in rural/regional NSW, you will need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and carry it with you when travelling to prove you’re entitled to concession fares.
Concession Opal fares are half the price of Adult Opal fares*. With Opal you can also save 30% on off-peak train fares.
Daily, Weekly and Sunday Travel Caps
Travel as much as you want on trains, buses, ferries and light rail within the Opal network and you’ll never pay more than $7.50 a day, $30 a week, or $2.50 on Sundays.
Remember, Travel Caps exclude the Sydney Airport Station access fee
Weekly Travel Reward
Study, friends, work, beach... when you're a student, trips on public transport can add up fast. That's where Opal shines: once you complete eight paid journeys in a week you can travel for the rest of the week for half-price*. It's called the Weekly Travel Reward‡.
Please note: the journey count for the Weekly Travel Reward resets every Monday at 4:00am. Journeys made after reaching the Daily Travel Cap do not count as paid journeys, so don't add towards the Weekly Travel Reward.
Opal Transfer Discount
If you switch modes of transport during a journey, you can get an Opal Transfer Discount of $1 for each transfer to a new mode of transport. To benefit from the Opal Transfer Discount, you will need to transfer to your new mode of transport within 60 minutes of tapping off from your previous mode^.
Opal trip advantage
If you make several trips using the same mode of transport, as long as your transfer occurs within 60 minutes of tapping off from your last trip†, it counts as a single journey and a single fare*.
*Excluding the Sydney Airport station access fee
‡The journey count for the Weekly Travel Reward resets every Monday at 4:00am. Journeys made after reaching the Daily Travel Cap do not count as paid journeys, so don't add towards the Weekly Travel Reward.
^Excluding transfers between Sydney Ferries and light rail.
†60 minutes applies to all services except the Sydney Ferries F1 Manly service where the standard transfer time is extended to 2 hours and 10 minutes from tap on.
Just set and forget
Opal auto top up works just like the e-tags we use on the road:
- The Concession Opal card automatically tops up from a linked credit or debit card
- You’ll always be ready to travel
- Set up auto top up online or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL)
Get the Opal Travel app
You can plan your trips, search your transaction history, top up your Concession Opal card and even calculate your fares, all from your smart phone.
How to apply
First, give your consent:
For privacy reasons you’ll first need to check with your student centre whether you have already given your consent for your institution to share your details with Transport for NSW. If you haven’t, and your institution doesn’t have a specific online form for this, you need to complete a consent form and hand it in to your student centre.
Please allow two business daysˆ for your information to reach Transport for NSW before applying.
If you’re at a TAFE NSW college, you can apply straight away.
Next, consider where you need to travel:
- If you need to travel only in the Opal network (and not rural/regional NSW), you can apply for a Concession Opal card, giving you access to concession fares. But before doing so you should read the following steps:
- Step 1 – Check this list to see if your student photo ID card is ‘approved’ as proof of entitlement.
If your institution is on the list you can travel with your student photo ID card as proof of entitlement to concession fares with your Concession Opal card. If your institution isn’t on the list, you need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card.
- Step 2 – Order your Concession Opal card.
Hearing and speech impaired customers
Call Opal Customer Care via the National Relay Services (NRS) on 1300 555 727
TTY users please call 133 677
Non-English speaking customers
For support in your language call the Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) on 131 450
- Step 3 – Once your eligibility is confirmed your Concession Opal card will be mailed to you within five to seven working days. Follow the instructions to activate your card when it arrives.
- If you need to travel in rural/regional NSW, you’ll need to apply for a Transport Concession Entitlement Card. Note: If you need to travel in rural/regional only occasionally, you will need to pay a full adult fare unless you carry a Transport Concession Entitlement Card when you travel.
ˆ May vary depending on the tertiary institution and circumstances. If you're not sure, please contact your institution.
How to top up
If you don't add value to your Opal card when you first order it, you need to add some value before you travel.
You can top up your Opal card:
- Online (one off top up or auto top up)
- Over the phone
- Via the Opal Travel app
- At selected Transport Customer Service Centres and Shops
- Via a retailer
- At a top up machine
Online and phone top ups may take up to 60 minutes to take effect and you must tap on at an Opal card reader within 60 days to collect the top up value on your card, otherwise your top up value will be reversed to your credit/debit card account. Some retailers require their customers to pay minimum transaction values or a service fee to cover credit/debit card merchant fees.
How to check your travel history
For a record of your recent travel, you can view your Activity Statement online by logging into your account
Alternatively, call 13 67 25 or (13 OPAL) and an Opal Customer Care team member can take you through your recent Opal activity.
Blocked Concession Opal card
If you're no longer eligible for a Concession Opal card, your Concession Opal card will be blocked two weeks after your eligibility expires. If you've elected to receive notifications from us you'll be informed promptly, giving you time to get another Opal card and transfer your balance.
If you haven’t elected to receive notifications your Concession Opal card will simply stop working.
To set up Opal card notifications log into your account and go to “Notifications”.
If your Opal card is blocked and you try to tap on you’ll see an “Error 53 – card not valid” message on the Opal reader screen.
If you're no longer eligible, you'll need to get an Adult Opal card or Adult Opal single trip ticket to travel again. If you have a registered Opal card you can transfer the balance remaining on your old Concession Opal card by calling 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) – you have 90 days to do this from the date of your entitlement expiry.
You can also apply for a refund.
Find out more about refund details and conditions for both registered and unregistered Opal cards, Opal single trip tickets and for balance transfers for registered Opal cards only.
Tertiary Institution's Guidelines for Issuing NSW Tertiary Student Concessions