Commuters will pay more under Opal ticket changes

Worse off: Julie Heaslip regularly commutes to and from work in North Sydney, five days a week. Ms Heaslip says that under the Opal card system she will be paying $360 more a year once the quarterly tickets which she usually buys are stopped from September 1.

Worse off: Julie Heaslip regularly commutes to and from work in North Sydney, five days a week. Ms Heaslip says that under the Opal card system she will be paying $360 more a year once the quarterly tickets which she usually buys are stopped from September 1.

WESTERN Sydney resident Julie Heaslip is frustrated to learn she will pay about $360 extra a year in train fares under the Opal card system.

Ms Heaslip, 45, who has bought long-term tickets since 1986, said it's frustrating the quarterly ticket will stop from September 1.

The Opal card, an electronic ticketing system, will take its place.

Ms Heaslip commutes from St Marys to North Sydney each weekday.

"The quarterly tickets are cheaper, as the longer the validity of the ticket, the bigger the discount," she said.

Quarterly tickets (valid for 90 days) cost Ms Heaslip $1960 a year.

Under Opal she will pay $2318.

"[Sydney Trains] is effectively removing all discounts for commuters willing to pay for their tickets in advance and forcing them onto a more expensive pay-as-you-go fare system," she said.

Under the MyTrain system, a quarterly ticket gives commuters about three free weeklies.

"It's going to have a huge impact on people who have to travel to make a living," Ms Heaslip said.

Other tickets to be retired from September include adult weekly, fortnightly, monthly, yearly and off-peak return.

Concession monthly, quarterly and yearly tickets will also no longer be available.

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett said about 90 per cent of commuters will be financially the same or better off with Opal.

"With long-term tickets, you have to pay a substantial amount of money upfront for travel that you may not take," he said.

"The maximum a customer will pay a week from St Marys to North Sydney using Opal is $50.40, versus $52 with MyTrain weekly."

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