Sydney Times




The NSW Government has welcomed the 4.5 billionth tap-on to the Opal network at Parramatta Train Station today as the revolutionary electronic ticketing system turns ten.

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said commuters had clocked up billions of Opal card trips since the network launched ten years ago.

“We’ve seen 4.5 billion trips taken on the Opal network in the decade since it was introduced – that’s an average of 1 million trips on our public transport system each day,” Mr Elliott said.

“The sheer volume of trips taken on the Opal network shows how much Sydneysiders and visitors love using the technology and see it as a part of their everyday lives.”

“The Perrottet Government is building on the Opal success with the investment of $568 million over the next five years to deliver a new state-of-the-art Opal system, Opal NextGen.”


“This will give commuters even more choice and convenience when booking and paying for public transport, helping them seamlessly travel across NSW like never before.”

The first tap-on was made on the Neutral Bay to Circular Quay ferry route on 7 December 2012 and since then the Opal network has expanded to operate on the Metro, rail, bus, ferry and light rail networks across Greater Sydney.

Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins said the introduction of the Opal network a decade ago has revolutionised the way commuters travel across all modes of public transport.

“It’s amazing when you remember that only six years ago in August 2016, paper tickets were fully retired and now, many commuters travel on the network without a physical Opal card,” Mr Collins said.

“More than 56 million Opal cards have been issued giving commuters easy access to our public transport network, whether they’re local, from interstate or overseas.

“We look forward to rolling out Opal NextGen that will see travel from A to B on public transport and other transport services become even more seamless.”

To plan your trip on public transport download the Opal Travel app or visit



  • As of 1 December 2022, the combined number of Opal card and contactless payment method trips taken on the Opal network is 4,470,297,397 trips.  This is broken down into:

o   Rail: 2,478,020,503 trips

o   Bus: 1,802,232,771 trips

o   Light rail: 98,862,307 trips

o   Ferry: 91,181,816 trips

  • More than 56 million Opal cards have been issued
  • For contactless payments, more than 260 million trips have been taken up to August 2022. In August 2022, contactless payments accounted for 40 per cent of all adult trips.
  • The Opal card replaced paper tickets that were fully retired in August 2016.



  • 7 December 2012: Adult Opal card launches on Neutral Bay to Circular Quay ferry service
  • April 2014: Child/Youth Opal card became available
  • November 2014: Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal cards became available
  • February 2015: Concession Opal card begins progressively rolling out to eligible customer groups, starting with tertiary students
  • July 2016: School Opal card commences roll out
  • August 2016: Opal Single Trip Tickets introduced and all other paper tickets were retired
  • In July 2017, Transport for NSW introduced the option to tap a credit or debit card, or linked smart device on Opal readers to access the same fares and benefits as an Opal card.
  • OpalPay launched in December 2017. OpalPay is a convenient way to pay for travel using your Opal card on participating transport services, including selected private ferries and On Demand public transport.
  • In February 2019, the Opal enabled Newcastle Light rail opened.
  • In May 2019, the Opal enabled Metro North West opened.
  • In December 2019, the Opal enabled L2 Randwick light rail line opened.
  • In April 2020, the Opal enabled L3 Kingsford light rail line opened.

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