Sunday, 13 July 2014

Heffron residents disadvantaged by "Opal Card"

Ron Hoenig MP talking to "John" at Rosebery
Many residents in my electorate of Heffron are disadvantaged by the NSW Liberal Government’s Opal Card, particularly if they have to travel on two modes of transport to get to work.

Talking to a  Rosebery resident John who, every day to get to work, catches the bus to central and then the train to Chatswood. Currently a MyMulti1 weekly pass costs John $11.00 per week less then if he used an Opal card for the exact same trip.

It beggars belief that commuters are being slogged an extra $11 a week to make the exact same trip, when the service will see no improvement.

It seems that this Liberal Government has not considered how their Opal Card will actually affect the many commuters across Sydney that rely on two modes of transport to get to work every day.

John said to me: “Even though with an Opal Card you only pay for 8 journeys, it will still cost me more than paying for a weekly MyMulti1 ticket".

“I wouldn’t mind paying an additional 1 or 2 dollars a week for the convenience of the Card, but $11 is too much"; John said

I have raised further concerns for current periodic ticket holders (monthly, quarterly or yearly) who are forced to use the Opal Card. If commuters from our area using periodic tickets continue to travel the same way using Opal, they could be out of pocket of between $147 and $174 a year. 

Sadly, any ‘convenience’ benefit as publicised by the Liberal State Government is voided by the negative financial impact it has on commuters.

This concern has not only been raised by the NSW Labor Opposition, the Auditor General has also noted his apprehensions about commuters being ripped off under the Opal scheme in his report on Transport.

I encourage anyone who loses under the Opal Card scheme to contact my office and I will bring it to the Minister’s attention – I won’t let the Government get away with ripping us off.

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