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Travelling with a valid ticket

When travelling on public transport, you must tap on and tap off* with your Opal card or Opal single trip ticket.

Authorised revenue protection officers and the NSW Police officers are responsible for enforcing ticketing compliance and monitoring public transport. They have Opal card readers to check your Opal card balance, recent transaction history and the fare status of your Opal card.

Entitlement cards

The NSW Government provides a range of free or concessional fares on the NSW public transport network for eligible customers. Concessional ticketing options, including Opal cards, depend on the type of entitlement you are eligible for.

Check the entitlement categories available below including details on ticketing types and how to apply for entitlement cards before you travel as there can be different requirements for paper tickets and Opal cards.

Default fares 

Even if your Opal card is not inspected, you still need to tap on and tap off or the system will assume that the maximum distance has been travelled and therefore deduct a default fare. For Adults and Child/Youth this is a fixed amount for trains and ferries in peak times and during off-peak times – see Default table below.

The default fare for buses and light rail is the maximum fare for the bus or light rail route used. Trips made where you forget to tap on or tap off do not count towards the Weekly Travel Reward but do count towards the Daily Travel Cap.

A default fare applies when an Opal card customer has failed to either tap on at the start of their journey, or tap off* at the end of their journey.

* Sydney Ferries Manly customers do not need to tap off.

Default fares are as follows:

Mode Card type Peak period 2016 Off-peak period 2016
Train Train Adult
Gold 
Concession
Child/Youth
Max. $8.30 
Max. $2.50ˆ
Max. $4.15 
Max. $4.15 

$5.81 
$2.50ˆ
$2.90 
$2.90 

Bus Bus Adult
Gold 
Concession
Child/Youth
Max. $4.50 
Max. $2.25 
Max. $2.25 
Max. $2.25 
n/a
No off-peak period on Buses
Ferry Ferry Adult
Gold 
Concession
Child/Youth
Max. $7.18 
Max. $2.50ˆ
Max. $3.59 
Max. $3.59 
n/a
No off-peak period on Ferries
Light rail Light rail Adult
Gold 
Concession
Child/Youth
Max. $3.50 
Max. $1.75 
Max. $1.75 
Max. $1.75 
n/a
No off-peak period on Light rail

ˆ The Gold Opal card default fares will never exceed $2.50 per day as it is subject to the $2.50 daily cap.

Default fares, the $15.00 Daily Travel Cap and Weekly Travel Reward

With an Opal card you can enjoy travel all day for no more than $15.00 per day for Adults and $7.50 for Child/Youth from Monday to Saturday or no more than $2.50 on Sunday. This means you can travel from 4:00am Sunday morning until 3:59am on Monday morning and pay no more than $2.50* - and pay even less with off-peak train fares.

In addition, the Weekly Travel Reward offers customers half-price travel after eight paid journeys in a week (Monday to Sunday) excluding the Sydney Airport station access fee

A default fare can affect how your Daily Travel Cap is calculated and what journeys contribute to the Weekly Travel Reward.

Where you undertake a number of journeys in a single day but have not reached the $15.00 for Adult Daily Travel Cap or $7.50 for Child/Youth Daily Travel Cap, the default fare will be calculated on the following:

The default fare will be the lesser of:

  1. The Daily Travel Cap ($15.00 or $7.50) minus the total of any paid journeys that day
  2. The default fare applicable for that mode

A default fare will contribute to reaching that day’s Daily Travel Cap. After reaching the Daily Travel Cap, any further journeys are free.

You receive a Weekly Travel Reward after eight full fare paid journeys. It is important to note that a default fare does not contribute to reaching the Weekly Travel Reward.

Example:

If you undertake three journeys using your Opal card, and the third journey incurs a default fare, only the two journeys that did not incur a default fare will count towards the eight journeys required for reaching the Weekly Travel Reward.

* Excluding the Sydney Airport station access fee

Learn more