Opal fare changes: use our tool to find out how you will be affected

Kenneth Tsang 5 January 2016

opal

Sydney commuters who have to switch modes of transport will save while those who travel frequently are likely to be worse off.

IMPORTANT

Note: This draft fare calculator is based on the draft proposals released in December 2015. An updated calculator reflecting the final fare restructure announced in May 2016 can be found here.

The cost of weekly travel is set to change for millions of Sydney commuters of from July 2016 when proposed changes to the Opal fare structure are set to come into effect.

A draft report released by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) last month recommends a raft of changes including the removal of the weekly travel reward, increasing daily and weekly travel caps and removing penalties for commuters to transfer between different modes of transport.

Research conducted by finder.com.au has found that the proposed changes will have a mixed impact on consumers. Based on a sample of over 12,000 journeys calculated using our fare calculator, around 68% of Sydney commuters will be worse off.

On average, commuters who travel more than 10 journeys per week will have to pay $4.90 more per week ($254.80 per year) with the difference generally increasing with the number of journeys taken.

However, commuters who have to switch between different modes of transport will benefit the most from the proposed changes. Our research shows on average, commuters who switch between two modes of transport will save $9.24 per week while those who have to switch between three or more modes save around $11.66 per week.

The removal of the weekly travel reward will remove a popular loophole used by some commuters who accumulate cheap but unnecessary trips earlier in the week to reach the weekly 8 paid journey cap earlier. The report suggests replacing the reward with weekly credit where commuters will have to pay the 10 most expensive journeys each week instead.

The adult daily cap and weekly caps will increase to $65 and $18 respectively, up from $60 and $15 currently.

Statistics are based on averages of over 12,000 individual weekly journeys calculated using the fare comparison tool.  All individual calculations made on the tool take into account the fare structure described in the IPART draft report and includes proposed changes to peak and off-peak fares, concession fares and eligibility, daily/weekly caps, weekly travel rewards/credit, distance calculation methodology, distance bands and mode transfer rules.

How will I be affected?

Use our simple weekly fare comparison calculator to see how the proposed fare changes will affect you.

Enter the journeys you take on a regular basis (for example, between home and work) and compare the final weekly fare.  Any return journeys must also be added separately.

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