NSW seniors urged to adapt


Opal cards can now be issued on the spot for eligible senior public transport users in NSW

Efforts to encourage senior bus passengers to obtain gold opal card are ramping up, as most cash-paper tickets will no longer be available in New South Wales (NSW) from January 1 next year.

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) set up 40 pop-up kiosks at rail stations and bus interchanges across NSW this week, so that seniors can sign up on the spot by showing their seniors, pensioners, or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) card.

"With more than 2,000 opal retailers and now 40 opal kiosks at key locations across the public transport network, plus also at major shopping centres, getting an opal card has never been easier," NSW minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance says.

"The pensioner excursion ticket is one that will no longer be sold from January 1.

"To help customers get a card, TfNSW has set up information kiosks at transport hubs, so you can now pick up an opal card at sites from Fairfield to Manly and Woy Woy to Wollongong.

"Opal staff will be on hand to explain how the card works and help eligible customers apply."

Uptake has been good so far, but there are still a lot of eligible public transport users who are yet to register.

"We’ve had about 200,000 pensioners and seniors signing up to the gold opal card since we announced the phasing out of most paper tickets three months ago," Constance says.

The card entitles seniors to cheap travel capped at $2.50 a day to travel on all trains, buses, light rail and ferries within NSW.

A list of opal kiosks operating at transport hubs and major shopping centres can be found on the opal website.

Kiosks will be operating at various transport locations until December 11 and in the first week of January next year.

Opal kiosks will also be in selected major shopping centres until December 18 and then from mid to late January net year.

Customers obtaining adult opal cards are required to put at least $20 worth of credit on to their cards at the time of issue and children and students at least $10, but seniors are not required to load any credit on until later if they wish.

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