Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

Info and FAQs - Adult Opal cards Info and FAQs - Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal cards Info and FAQs - Concession Opal card for tertiary students Info and FAQs - Child/Youth Opal cards


Can two people travel together using the same Opal card?

No, each customer over the age of four must have their own Opal card to travel.

What types of Opal single trips tickets are available?

Opal single trip tickets are available for Adult and Child/Youth. To be eligible to use a Child/Youth Opal single trip ticket you will need to be:

  • aged between 4-15 years (inclusive)
  • a full time NSW/ACT school student aged 16 years or older with a Senior Secondary Student card, issued by your school, as proof of entitlement.
Does value on an Opal card expire?

Yes, the value on your Opal card is valid for up to nine years. Additionally, any remote top ups such as online, over the phone or through the Opal Travel App will be credited back your nominated card after 60 days if you haven’t collected your balance. To collect your balance you will need to present your card to an Opal reader within 60 days.

What if my Opal card isn’t working, is damaged, lost or stolen?

If your Opal card is registered you can log into your Opal account and report the card as lost or stolen. The Opal card will be permanently blocked and the existing balance will be protected from further use. By reporting your card as lost or stolen online, you can also transfer the existing balance to another Opal card. A new Adult or Child/Youth Opal card can be obtained at any of our Opal retailers. Alternatively, replacement Concession or Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal cards can be ordered online.

Is there a fee to top up?

There are currently no fees for topping up online, by phone or at Opal card retailers using cash. However, if you use a credit or debit card to top up at an Opal card retailer, they may charge a service fee.

How will my personal information be managed?

The security of your personal information is of paramount importance. We will handle personal information that we collect about you in accordance with our Opal Privacy Policy that has been developed in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

Will Transport officers or police be able to check my Opal card?

Yes, Transport officers and NSW Police officers can check your journey information at any time using a portable Opal card reader.

My auto top up was activated even though my balance was above $10?

For customers who have selected auto top up for their card, the Opal system aims at all times to ensure the card has enough value to enable the customer to travel.

With auto top up when your card balance falls below $10 it will top up automatically.

There are times when auto top up will activate after a customer taps on, even though the Opal card balance was above $10 at the tap on.

This happens because: After tapping on, and during the journey, the system holds an amount equivalent to a default fare. If this results in the Opal card balance moving below $10, auto top up will be activated.

This movement on the Opal card balance will take place even if the customer taps off correctly at the end of their journey.

This process ensures that the Opal card customer always has enough balance to travel and that a fare is deducted when a customer travels on public transport, even if they forget to tap off.

Does Transport for NSW have any Opal mobile apps?

Yes, the Opal Travel app is endorsed by Transport for NSW and is available from Google Play or the App Store.  

Find out more about Opal Travel.

How are Opal fares calculated for customers?

Opal fares are based on the distance travelled by the customer, from where they tap on to where they tap off.

Opal has five train fare bands, two ferry fare bands, three bus fare bands and two light rail fare bands.

The fare deducted from an Opal card is determined by how far the customer has travelled, which is then matched to a fare band. For trains, the Opal fare matches the distance of track travelled between two Opal activated stations. For ferries and buses it is the straight line distance between the tap on and tap off.

Sydney’s buses use automatic vehicle location technology to calculate the straight line distance travelled by an Opal activated bus. This means that for the first time bus fares can be accurately calculated based on the straight line distance travelled.

For some bus trips a customer’s fare may move into a different fare band under Opal when compared to the “sections” based paper ticket.

Please also take the time to read about the Opal Weekly Travel Reward and the definitions of trips, journey and transfer

When does the Opal week and day start and end?

For the purposes of fare calculation, the Opal day commences at 4.00am and ends at 3.59am the following day.

The Opal week commences on Monday at 4.00am and ends the following Monday at 3:59am. 

How do I use my Opal card when there is trackwork or bad weather and buses are replacing trains or ferries?

Customers travelling on a train or ferry replacement bus service must tap on and tap off to pay the fare for the distance travelled. If the replacement bus is not Opal enabled, simply show your Opal card to the driver when boarding and no fare will be charged for that trip.

How will I know how much value is left on my Opal card?

Whenever you tap on or tap off* at an Opal card reader, the display screen will show you the balance remaining on your Opal card. You can also check your balance online, on the Opal Travel app or by visiting an Opal retailer.

Or when you tap on when using the Sydney Ferries Manly service as it only travels on one route and automatically calculates a set fare.

How do I check my transaction history?

You can check your transactions via your Opal activity statement which is processed within 48 hours and is available online. 

I’ve seen Opal cards advertised through online retailers like Gumtree, MintyShop and eBay – is it safe to buy Opal cards in this way?

Transport for NSW cannot guarantee that a card you obtain through an online purchase like eBay, MintyShop or Gumtree will work or be legitimate. Individual sellers of Opal cards on eBay, MintyShop and Gumtree are not official Opal retailers and are not authorised to issue or top up cards. There are Opal retailers who are authorised to issue Adult and Child/Youth Opal cards and provide top ups. You can also order an Opal card online.

I’ve seen online retailers offering discounts on Opal top ups – is it safe to top up my Opal card in this way?

The only online location where you can top up your Opal card is or the Opal Travel app. Registered Opal card holders can also log into their Opal account and top up online at If you see any online offers regarding discounted Opal top ups be aware that they are not authorised and therefore the card may not work and the top up may not be legitimate. You can report such activity to us online

What is the policy as an Opal card user for travelling with a bike?

Passengers travelling with a bicycle on trains and ferries only need a valid Opal card for themselves.

Please note that bicycles cannot be taken on buses.

What about travelling to Sydney Airport (Domestic or International Airport) train stations?

When tapping on or off at Domestic or International Airport stations, a station access fee of $14.30 for Adults and $12.80 for Gold Senior/Pensioners and Child/Youth is deducted from your Opal card balance, in addition to the relevant Opal train fare. 

However, if you’re travelling to the airport more than once a week you can save money with the Opal card, as the Sydney Airport Station Access Fee is capped at $29 per week for Adults and $26 for Gold Senior/Pensioners and Child/Youth.

The Opal 60 minute transfer doesn't apply at Sydney Airport Stations. If you tap off at the airport and tap on again within one hour, you'll be charged for two journeys, including two Station Access Fees. This gives you two paid journeys towards your Weekly Travel Reward

The Sydney Airport Station Access Fee does not count towards your Daily Travel Cap.

The deduction of the station access fee may mean that your Opal card balance goes negative. If this happens you will need to top up your card to travel again.  

Can I use an Opal card on My Fast Ferry or Sydney Fast Ferry services?

You can now tap to pay with your Opal card on selected My Fast Ferry services with OpalPay. However, OpalPay fares are set by private transport operators. Find out more about OpalPay.

What happens if I forget to tap on or tap off?

If you forget to tap on or tap off, a default fare is charged, which is the maximum applicable fare for your trip. Default fares do not contribute to the Weekly Travel Reward.

Also, if you haven't tapped on with your Opal card, you're not travelling with a valid ticket and can be fined. 

Can I still buy a paper ticket from the bus driver?

You can use Opal to travel on all bus services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. If you don't have your Opal card with you, you can also buy an Opal single bus ticket on bus services, except on PrePay Only services. Please note that the single bus ticket fares are more expensive than the single bus fare on an Opal card. 

On buses, how does the system know where I’ve travelled and how is my bus fare calculated?

Buses that are activated for Opal use GPS (satellite) tracking that tells the system exactly where the bus is at any given time. The system recognises the location of the bus stops where you tap on and tap off, and calculates your bus fare according to the straight-line distance between those stops.

If I exit the bus using the front door, can I tap off at the front Opal card reader?

Yes, you can tap off at the front or rear doors of the bus.

Can I enter the bus via the rear doors to tap on?

No, unless you're in the Sydney CBD at selected bus stops, where you can now enter the bus via the rear door to tap on and tap off. 

What happens if my bus breaks down and I have to transfer to a replacement bus?

Tap off the first bus as you leave and, once you're on the replacement bus tap on and tap off as normal. Your fare will be unaffected as long as the time between tapping off the first bus and tapping onto the second bus is no longer than 60 minutes.

If you have incurred a default fare as a result of a bus breakdown, please contact Opal Customer Care

Can I use my Opal card on NightRide buses?

Yes, you can travel on all NightRide bus services using Opal. Just remember, on Friday and Saturday nights Route N100 is free for customers travelling between Kings Cross and the city. So you don't need to tap on and tap off if this is your trip. Customers travelling from any other stop on the N100 route (Bondi Junction to Central) must tap on and tap off as normal.

Can the bus driver top up my Opal card?

No, you need to top up your card before you travel either online, via the Opal Travel app, using an Opal top up machine or over the counter at an Opal retailer.

For online top ups, you can access your new balance in as little as 15 minutes for trains, ferries and light rail. Allow up to 60 minutes for buses.

If the station or wharf gates are open, do I still need to tap on and tap off?

Yes. To get the correct fare for your journey you always need to tap on and tap off, even if the gates are open. The only exception is when travelling on the F1 Manly Ferry service, where there's no need to tap off as there's only one possible stop.

Do I still need to tap on and tap off if I've reached my Daily Travel Cap or Weekly Travel Reward?

Yes, even if you have reached your Daily Travel Cap or Weekly Travel Reward, you need to tap on and tap off for each journey, so that you have a valid ticket for travel.

If I’m changing ferries, trains or buses do I still need to tap off?


If you leave the train station, you do need tap off. However, if you’re changing trains in the same station, you don’t need to tap off to catch the next train. Just tap off at the end of your train journey and your Opal fare will be correctly calculated and deducted from the value on your Opal card.


If you're changing ferries at the same wharf, there is no need to tap off, exit and re-enter the wharf. If you do, you will be charged a new fare if you don't tap on again within 60 minutes.

Circular Quay is an exception, as you may have to change wharves to catch the next ferry. You can tap off and back on again within 60 minutes.


If you change from one bus to another, you must tap on and tap off on both (or all) buses. If your connecting bus trips are made within 60 minutes of each other, your fare will be calculated for the total bus journey.

Can I tap off with an insufficient balance?

As long as you have the minimum value on your card at the time you tap on, you will be able to tap off and the Opal card will go into a negative balance. You will have to add value to your Opal card in order to tap on again.

The minimum value to tap on depends on the time of tap on and the mode of transport.

If I tap on and my ferry or train is cancelled, can I cancel my tap on?

Yes – by reversing your tap on. To do this, just present your card a second time to the Opal card reader at your departure station gate, wharf or light rail stop within 30 minutes of the original tap on.

What is the process if I’m unable to tap on or off because the card reader isn’t working or because the gates are unavailable during major special events?

Log in to "My Account" and click on "Opal account enquires" to request a fare adjustment and report the reader that is not working. Otherwise you’ll incur a default fare, that could be higher than the normal fare you’d pay for your trip.