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Maximum journey time

The amount of time you can spend making a single journey is limited when travelling on public transport in the Opal network. The “maximum journey time” helps ensure customers pay the appropriate fare for their travel.

Trains, light rail and ferries

For trains, light rail and ferries, the maximum journey time is the maximum time allowed between a tap on and a tap off, where the tap off is treated as part of the same journey on that mode. The maximum journey time varies between modes and locations for trains and ferries.

If the tap off occurs after the maximum journey time, then the previous tap on is treated as an incomplete journey. If this happens at train stations and wharves with gates, customers are charged two default fares:

If this happens at ungated sites such as light rail stops, most wharves and many train stations, customers could be charged two default fares:

Trains

Journey type Criteria Maximum journey time
Suburban

Train journeys taken using Sydney Trains.

Examples:

  • Penrith to Chatswood
  • Campbelltown to Berowra
  • Newtown to Bondi Junction
5 hours
Outer metropolitan

Train journeys within outer metro/fringe areas of Greater Sydney operated by NSW Trains that do not cross into or depart from the area covered by Sydney Trains.

Examples:

  • Gosford to Wyong
  • Nowra to Wollongong
  • Bathurst to Lithgow
  • Goulburn to Moss Vale
5 hours
Intercity / Commuter Services

Train journeys that make one crossing into or out of the area covered by Sydney Trains are provided with one extra hour.

Any Sydney Trains or Intercity NSW Trains service through any one of the following stations: Emu Plains, Macarthur, Waterfall and Berowra.

Examples:

  • Newcastle to Central
  • Central to Lithgow
6 hours
Exceptions for very long train journeys

Rules

  • Must enter and exit the area covered by Sydney Trains as part of the journey.
  • The train journey needs to pass through any two of the following stations: Emu Plains, Macarthur, Waterfall or Berowa

Type 1: Most long train journeys are provided with two extra hours (eg Wollongong to Newcastle or Moss Vale to Katoomba)

Type 2: Train journeys greater than 350 km (eg Scone to Bathurst or Goulburn to Dungog)

7 hours (Type 1)

16 hours (Type 2)

Light rail

For light rail, the maximum journey time is 180 minutes (3 hours).

Ferry

Journey type Criteria Maximum journey time
Journey requiring transfer at Circular Quay Any ferry journey that involves a transfer (1 only) at Circular Quay 4 hours
Here-to-here wharf Tap off at same wharf where last tap on occurred 3 hours
Gated wharf to gated wharf
  • Circular Quay - Darling Harbour Wharf
  • Darling Harbour Wharf - Circular Quay
  • Circular Quay - Circular Quay
  • Darling Harbour Wharf - Darling Harbour Wharf
Note: Excludes Manly Wharf
1 hour
Same ferry route/service

All services that do not meet any of the above criteria

Note: All services west of the Harbour Bridge (river services) are treated as the same route (i.e. tap off / on is not required at stop-over wharf).
3 hours

Bus

For buses, a maximum journey time of 4 hours applies to any bus trip that includes an implied transfer.

An implied transfer is only applicable to bus and is designed to ensure that customers are not out of pocket if one of the following occurs:

In these situations, the bus fare is calculated as usual (i.e. if the tap on and tap off has occurred as part of the same route/trip).

For any other trips, the only rule applied is that customers tap on and off on the same bus.

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