Extra Opal card costs claimed

Commuters on the South Coast rail line could be slugged up to $440 extra for their travel annually if they switch to the Opal card system, Labor has claimed.

‘‘Currently a commuter from Woonona [to Sydney] can buy a yearly ticket for $2440. Under the Opal system that potentially can blow out to $2880,’’ Labor Member for Keira Ryan Park said.

‘‘Local commuters have had to suffer the new train timetable and now they could potentially pay hundreds of extra dollars for the Opal card.’’

Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz echoed Mr Park’s sentiment, labelling the Opal card train fares a ‘‘slug by stealth’’.

Transport for NSW denied commuters would be worse off under the new electronic ticketing system, saying customers could end up paying less than the $2440 annual MyTrain ticket fare.

‘‘With Opal you only pay for fares when you travel, unlike an annual ticket when customers pay thousands of dollars up front for travel they may not take,’’ a spokesperson said.

‘‘Unlike a train ticket Opal can be used on any transport mode, and depending on the frequency and time of travel, a customer can benefit from Opal fare advantages such as rewards for frequent travel, 30per cent off-peak train travel discounts and daily fare caps. The vast majority of customers will pay less with Opal.’’


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