Rush to scrap paper tickets hard to fathom

Comment

The NSW government's decision to get rid of 14 paper tickets does seem a little ill-timed.

It would have made more sense to wait until all the Opal infrastructure is in place before removing tickets, which will force some people over to the smart card.

This includes making sure Opal card retailers are located close to stations and not several kilometres away, as is the case with hub stations Helensburgh and Thirroul.

These stations are a crucial part of the government's updated rail timetable, so it is curious that they have been neglected.

The scrapping of tickets could have waited until Opal machines were installed on platforms. While commuters can still buy a range of other paper tickets, if you are going to give people a gentle push towards Opal cards, it helps to make them easily available.

The Opal card is definitely a step forward for public transport in NSW, but it is hard to see the reason for the rush to remove some tickets.

To wait another six to 12 months for the rollout and associated card sales options to be in place before getting rid of tickets would not seem a big problem.

After all, it has taken the idea of a NSW public transport smart card almost two decades to get to this point. What's another six months?

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