South Coast ticket jobs spared Opal cuts

NSW TrainLink isn't looking to follow the lead of Sydney Trains and cut ticket-seller positions on the South Coast as part of the Opal card roll-out.

The NSW branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said this week that 97 ticket-seller jobs on the Sydney network had gone and they expected 60 more to follow.

The union said that at stations like Town Hall and Central, at least half the ticket windows were closed.

"The government's drive to make the Opal card a success has meant they have slashed the number of ticket sellers and closed many ticket windows on stations," RTBU NSW secretary Alex Claassens said.

"Yet many commuters are not convinced the Opal card will save them time or money and continue to use their magnetic cards. For this they are punished by being forced to wait in longer and longer queues.

"The government needs to immediately revisit their decision, reopen those ticket windows and give people more time to consider the new ticket arrangements."

NSW TrainLink CEO Paul Mason said that he wasn't looking to do the same thing on the South Coast.

"We haven't got any plans to reduce station staff," he said.

"It's a very different need here. We need to be part of the community, and our station staff are part of the community.

"We want them either in the ticket office selling tickets or out on the platform approaching customers."

Mr Mason was in London for the roll-out of that city's Oyster card.

"It really has become a way of life [there]," he said.

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