Commuters are worse off under Opal card changes

Save money when you commute by using this guide.

25 February 2016: Recent research from finder.com.au suggests 68% of commuters in Sydney will be facing rising prices for their weekly travels if proposed changes to Opal card fares are made. This is contrary to other reports that suggest prices would go down following the revamp of the Opal card system, which may take place mid-year.

Average weekly savings or fare increased based on number of journeys per week

Journeys per weekAverage weekly savings under proposed fares
< 5$3.08 (saving)
5 - 9$5.54 (saving)
10 - 14-$1.04 (increase)
15 - 19-$5.55 (increase)
20 +-$11.19 (increase)

Source: finder.com.au analysis of IPART report, December 2015

How can I save money with these new proposals?

If the proposed changes put forward by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) are established, frequent commuters (more than 10 trips each week) will need to pay an average of $4.90 more each week than their current travel expenses. If you total that for a whole year, that’s a $254.80 increase.

If you’re going to be affected by the proposed changes, you might need to consider a few options. Seeing more people using other methods of transport such as cars, walking and cycling would not be a shock since it could save you money on public transport.

If you travel on public transport often, you might need to find other ways to get where you need to go. Carpooling and walking are good options that’ll save you some money.

Opening a savings account could help you save money for transport purposes. If you think you might struggle with the fare increases, having a savings account at your disposal may be useful. If you need to save for a few months to get the ball rolling, opening an account with an introductory bonus interest rate could boost your savings and get you on track.

Despite the proposed price increases, there are ways to save money and avoid unnecessary fares when travelling. Commuters who travel on multiple modes of public transport could save money if the new proposal goes ahead.

If you use two ways of travelling to work, you could potentially save $9.24 every week and if you use multiple types of public transport you can save around $11.66 every week.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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