Opal card – A smartcard similar in size to a credit/debit card that connects customers to greater Sydney’s new electronic ticketing system, enabling easier travel across the public transport network when fully available. Value is loaded onto an Opal card instead of buying a paper based ticket. Correct fares are calculated when customers tap on and tap off* at card readers located across the network, regardless of mode or distance travelled. No more queues to buy tickets.
* Sydney Ferries Manly ferry customers do not need to tap off.
Opal card balance – The balance on an Opal card is the amount of value available to travel on greater Sydney’s public transport network. Customers top up their Opal card balance online, 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) and at an Opal retailer.
Electronic ticketing system – Opal is an electronic ticketing system for public transport in Greater Sydney that uses a combination of smartcard tickets (Opal cards), and smartcard readers (Opal readers).
Opal card reader – Located on ferry wharves and gates, train stations and buses. A customer is required to tap their Opal card on and off at an Opal card reader at the start and end of their journey. A screen will display the balance of the Opal card at the start of the journey and the balance, including the fare at the end of the journey.
Tap on – Action made by customer to begin a journey. To tap on, the customer is required to tap their Opal card on to an Opal card reader. The reader displays the Opal card balance and records the beginning of their journey.
Tap off – Action made by customer to complete their journey. To tap off, the customer is required to tap their Opal card off at an Opal card reader. The Opal card reader displays the Opal card balance and the fare.
Default fare – If a customer does not tap off at the end of their journey, a default fare will be deducted for the journey. To avoid incurring the default fare, always tap off.
Top up – Adding value to an Opal card. Customers can top up as required or set up auto top up, which will automatically add value to an Opal card when it reaches the minimum Opal card balance.
Trip, journey and transfer explained
- A trip is travel on one route, one mode. When you transfer to another route or service, you are commencing a new trip.
- A journey consists of one or more trips on eligible services where transfers between services occur within 60 minutes*.
- A transfer occurs at the end of a single trip. It is a change of transport mode or route, to another service or route, to continue a journey. Transfers made within a standard transfer time of 60 minutes* combine trips into a single journey.
* 60 minutes applies to all services except the Sydney Ferries Manly ferry service where the standard transfer time is 130 minutes from tap on.