Opal travel card concerns
Pensioners have voiced concerns over the Baird government’s decision to make Opal card purchases and top-ups unavailable from a large number of Sydney train stations. Although top-ups to Opal cards can be arranged online or by phone, this is not a convenient option for all consumers. Also problematic for many seniors is the issue of having their bank accounts directly linked to their Opal cards, an option which the majority of Opal card users opt for, and is being encouraged by Transport for NSW.
The unsatisfactory result is that for many consumers to purchase or top-up their Opal card, they could potentially have to walk for up to 30 minutes to a station which supplies them. Adding to concern is the fact that the NSW government has since confirmed that there are no future plans to have Opal cards permanently sold or topped up at existing Sydney Trains’ stations or ticket windows.
At the very least vending machines which allow top-ups should be made available at each station. Although there is no indication at this stage that this will occur, Transport for NSW has said that it would “continue to look at ways to make Opal cards available/accessible for customers as the roll out progresses”.