Opal card

Unemployment + no concession card = unbelievable debt. I can’t do 4 unit maths but I can do simple life equations. If you’re a real ‘adult’ now i.e. not a student anymore, then the Opal Card will save you save money, time, and paper in your bulky wallet.

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“The Opal card is an easy, convenient and fast new way of paying for your travel on public transport. It is a smartcard similar to a credit card.”

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Finally we’re in the trend. Melbourne’s Myki card, Hong Kong’s Octopus card, London’s Oyster card, and now we have Sydney’s Opal card. What’s with the ‘O’s?

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Might I add- about time, Sydney! Welcome to the modern and technological era! Highlights include:

– redeem one for FREE only if you put $40 in your account

– Don’t need to wait in those long lines waiting for the person in front of you to slowly hand over all their silver shrapnel with the clock ticking and 2 minutes until your train comes.

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– Shoving your card in the eftpos machine to find that you didn’t transfer enough money into your account

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– forgetting to buy a travel 10 when the bus you catch only accepts them. Then waiting 30 minutes for another one. Ew.

– $15 travel cap Monday – Sunday, or only $2.50 cap on Sundays to tranvel all you want on any mode of transport. No more trying to babysit 2-3 kids and grabbing a friend to go to Taronga zoo just for the cheap $2.50 fare

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– After 8 paid journeys in one week, starting Mondays, all journeys afterwards are free! I.e. on Monday, go to your station, tap on, get off the next station, tap off, and do it 8 times so when you go into the city, it’ll be free

– to the above during off-peak times. That is, outside 7am-9am, and 4pm-6:30pm for a further 30% off discount. This only applies on trains.

– it tells you every time how much you got charged and how much is remaining. Good reminders (y)

– if you want to grab a cheap $1.20 sushi roll at Wynyard station on your way home from work, you’ll have 60 minutes to go out and back in so you won’t get charged for that trip! Yes, it’ll be FREE!

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Important information/warnings

– top ups are $40 and could be automatically done. If you loose it, someone else might be able to use the card endlessly.. please report if lost

– please don’t forget to top off. I forgot to tap off for my first few days travelling on trains because I wasn’t used to it. I was charged a full trip. That’s $8.10 opposed to $4.70 for a standard fare in my area

– don’t stack with other cards that require ‘beeping’ as well. At the Cancer Council we have the tapping system and its range is stronger. I think that’s the reason why it always says ‘Try again’ when it doesn’t work out

– it takes 60 minutes for top ups to load. I forgot to put money in, quickly did it at the train station and still didn’t work. Yep,  it told me after I clicked ‘top up’. Alternatively, you can set up an ‘auto top up’ when your balance falls below $10. But what if my card gets stolen? (My wallet got stolen last week hence why I don’t have my concession card anymore).

Opal cards do save you dollars- only if you’re an ‘adult’.

To calculate how much you might save, visit: http://www.opalornot.com/

Apparently I save more using the ‘quarterly’ ticket- by $2.50. My train singles could add up to $52/week. My train weekly is $41/week. I pay $37.60/week. My train quarterly is $34.17/week. This is Hornsby station -> Bondi Junction station.

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To be honest, I wish I were a concession again. Why can’t we be kids forever? #foreveryoung

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Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Opal Card): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I use an Opal Card everyday? If I was charged for my first 8 trips during the week then of course I would use it. Although it is quite pricey, I could always use it for my short trips, then make my longer trips towards the end of the week. I love how its $2.50 Sundays. It makes you want to go out on the weekends because transport would be cheaper!

Would I pay full price for a train ticket everyday? I think it’s around $6.80 off peak hour so peak hour should be.. more? I don’t know but I definitely would not. Transport is super expensive in Australia.

Highlight: tapping on and off is quite fun! There’s a beeping noise loud enough for people around you to hear. I like the balance displayed every time as well.

Suggestion of improvement: I wished that when I topped up at home, it would be an automatic top up and not take 60 minutes to process. It’s not too bad but if you forget and end up taking somewhere once, then you’ll be paying $8.10. That’s too much for a poor graduate like me.

Ends: never

Link: https://www.opal.com.au/

Angela Bee

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