Monday, 14 July 2014

Tempe Commuters ripped off by Opal Card

Residents residents living in my electorate in Tempe and travelling into the city by train are disadvantaged by the NSW Government’s Opal Card due to a 50 metre technicality.

Mr Hoenig spoke to Tempe resident David Price who recently discovered that his daily trip from Tempe to Martin Place costs him more than a trip from Tempe to Central because Martin Place is 50 metres outside of the 10 kilometre fare bracket.

This is the same for all of the other ‘city’ stations, including Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James, Museum and Kings Cross.

On the NSW Government’s Sydney Trains fare calculator website, it says that a ticket to the “city” allows a commuter to alight at any station in the city, however if you select to travel to Martin Place or even Town Hall instead of Central from Tempe, you have to pay more because the stations are apparently 50 metres further along the line..

 It beggars belief that commuters heading into the city are being tricked into paying this extra charge – simply because they don’t get off the train at Central.

“I’d like to see the Transport Minister demonstrate that all of the city stations are more than 10 kilometres from Tempe, particularly given that the platform itself could be longer than 50 metres,” Mr Price said.

“It seems dishonest that the NSW Government is gouging unsuspecting commuters who get off at any “city stop” other than Central.”

For an adult on a return ticket it’s an extra $1.60, but for a weekly ticket, commuters are paying an additional $7 and for monthly, $25. 

I have already raised my concerns for current periodic ticket holders (monthly, quarterly or yearly) who are forced to use the Opal Card.

If commuters from my electorate are 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 – I won’t let the Government get away with ripping us off.


  1. Why is this an Opal issue. This has always been the case (albeit is a function of the Old CityRail's calculation of distances for CBD stations)

    Opal will be cheaper for Mr Price on his weekly journey versus a current weekly ticket.

    In any distance based system one station will be inside a lower zone, and the next outside. That's just the nature of it. If Mr Price really wants to save the money, why not walk the 500m to Sydnenham Station which is inside the 10km zone.

  2. This is also an issue for Arncliffe to Town Hall (an actual distance of 9.6km) which is incorrectly calculated as 11.64km. CityRail's fare calculator calculates the distance from Central to Town Hall as 3.21 km when in actual fact it's 1.18km.