New South Wales tertiary students are starting to take advantage of the new Concession Opal card providing discounted fares on public transport. The release of the card has been timed to coincide with the start of the first semester in 2015.
The Concession Opal card is a NSW Government initiative that promises big savings on all forms of public transport from Newcastle to Illawarra and everywhere in-between.
- Sydney Trains
- NSW TrainLink Intercity services
- Buses in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Central Coast, Illawarra and Hunter
- Sydney Ferries and the Stockton Ferry
- Light rail
Who is eligible?
Although there was some initial reluctance due to privacy concerns, tertiary institutions are getting onboard the Concession Opal program. The rollout commenced in early February and by the beginning of March many prestigious universities and institutions will be participating.
- The University of Sydney
- UNSW Australia
- The University of Notre Dame Australia
- Australian Catholic University
- Macquarie University
- University of Wollongong
- Navitas English
Students can enrol by giving consent to provide details with Transport for NSW. The majority of students will be eligible to take advantage of concession fares which are approximately half the regular adult fare. You need to be:
an Australian citizen or permanent resident
presently residing in NSW
are enrolled in study at a tertiary institution authorised by Transport for NSW for student concession fares
a full-time on-campus student (part-time disabled students are also eligible)
Benefits of the Concession Opal card
Half price adult Opal fares are the norm, and off-peak savings on trains are around 30%. With Opal, you will only pay for your first 8 journeys for the week. After that – its free! Some students travel long distances to get to university, but with Opal your fare will be capped at $7.50 for the entire day of public transport travel. There is also a weekly travel cap of $30 making it a lot easier to stick within your notoriously tight student budget.
A student’s life is not just Monday to Friday. Using your Opal card on a Sunday will never cost you more than $2.50, even if you are heading to the beach or visiting friends. Another great innovation is the facility to make several trips on the same mode of transport. If your transfer is within 60 minutes it will only count as one trip and a single fare.