Thursday will be the last day that people will be able to buy most paper tickets for NSW’s public transport system, and commuters are being urged to get electronic Opal cards.
As of January 1, 2016, popular paper tickets such as the TravelTen bus pass, MyMulti Weekly and Pensioner Excursion tickets will no longer be sold.
Single and return paper tickets will continue to be sold.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance reminded all those without an Opal card to make the transition as soon as possible.
“If you haven’t tapped on to Opal, now is the time,” Mr Constance said. “This is a difficult change for commuters, I acknowledge that. But everyone has responded incredibly strongly to the change in the last six months.”
Gold Opal promoter Ita Buttrose joined the minister, urging seniors not to “delay any longer” in getting their card if they want to continue travelling on $2.50 a day.
Mr Constance said more than 1.6 million cards have been issued since it was announced in August that paper tickets would be phased out.
He was not able to say for how much longer paper tickets will still work on public transport, stating that the transition will be monitored.
However, sources told Fairfax Media that the final deadline for paper ticket use will most likely occur in the second half of the year.
The paper tickets have been undergoing a long transition period since some Adult weekly, quarterly and yearly tickets were phased out in September 2014.
However, some commuters have not yet fully embraced the Opal card.
Doris Taranto, 95, said she had stocked up on paper tickets despite already having an Opal card.
“I think I’ve got about 15 or 16 of the Pensioner Excursion Tickets at home. I also have some TravelTens,” Ms Taranto said. “I’m out every day, and I find they’re easier.
“I know I will have to use the Opal card eventually. But it’s a bit of a nuisance, because you’ve got to tap on and tap off each time,” she said.
Mr Constance said commuters would not be able to transfer any remaining paper tickets into Opal credit.
“They’ve got to actually use them. We’re encouraging people not to hoard, and just use the tickets, and it will phase out.”
Customers can get an adult or child card at Opal retailers; while senior, pensioner and concession users can obtain the card on the Opal website and on 13 67 25.
Tickets no longer sold from January 1, 2016, include:
Pensioner Excursion tickets
MyBus TravelTen tickets
MyMulti Weekly tickets
MyFerry TravelTen tickets