Opal card rolled-out in Illawarra

The Opal roll-out has reached the Illawarra with card readers installed at several stations.

Yesterday, the machines – on which commuters will swipe their Opal card – were spotted at Thirroul station.

This marks the start of the final stage in the Opal roll-out.

The Opal card is a smartcard that can be loaded with credit for travel on public buses, trains and ferries statewide.

‘‘An Opal reader was installed at Thirroul last week and Opal technology is being installed on stations between North Wollongong and Port Kembla today,’’ Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday.

‘‘As we prepare to roll out Opal to 308 train stations by the end of the year, card readers are being installed and tested at stations,’’ she said.

By this Friday, she said, Opal cards would be in use at 120 train stations in the state.

Mrs Berejiklian did not say whether the presence of the readers meant the Illawarra roll-out was ahead of schedule.

‘‘I will keep the community updated on when they can expect Opal at their local station as part of our ongoing roll-out,’’ she said.

The minister said Opal cards would offer savings to commuters, including a fee cap of $15 for travel on Mondays to Saturdays and a $2.50 cap on Sundays.

The Opal card can also offer free weekly travel after the cardholder makes eight journeys in a week.

However, a single journey can include multiple modes of transport.

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