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Opal Card - a Tad Confusing


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Going to be in Sydney Monday to Saturday.  Arriving at Sydney airport, may take cab or may not to our hotel at Kings Cross.  If we choose to take the train, I gather we need to pay a Gate Fee to exit the airport and then a train fee.   I was reading up on the OPAL card.   There appears to be Caps on the fares.  One can ride the various modes of transport all day and the cap is $16, while the weekly cap is $50.   Can we buy this Opal Card at the airport and when we buy the card, do we put $50 dollars on it and then we can use it to our hearts content from the Monday to the Saturday and not have to pay one cent more.  Do we add the Gate fee of $19.60 to the $50 dollars that we put onto this card so that we can exit the airport or do we put on only an extra $15.    Confusing!!!!!    I have traveled to a lot of other cities and usually there is a 2 day, 3 day, 5 day, 7 day pass for a set amount of money.   This Opal is something different with these caps. Can someone explain. 

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17 minutes ago, pink845 said:

Going to be in Sydney Monday to Saturday.  Arriving at Sydney airport, may take cab or may not to our hotel at Kings Cross.  If we choose to take the train, I gather we need to pay a Gate Fee to exit the airport and then a train fee.   I was reading up on the OPAL card.   There appears to be Caps on the fares.  One can ride the various modes of transport all day and the cap is $16, while the weekly cap is $50.   Can we buy this Opal Card at the airport and when we buy the card, do we put $50 dollars on it and then we can use it to our hearts content from the Monday to the Saturday and not have to pay one cent more.  Do we add the Gate fee of $19.60 to the $50 dollars that we put onto this card so that we can exit the airport or do we put on only an extra $15.    Confusing!!!!!    I have traveled to a lot of other cities and usually there is a 2 day, 3 day, 5 day, 7 day pass for a set amount of money.   This Opal is something different with these caps. Can someone explain. 

If you don't want a multi-day pass and/or would prefer to avoid the hassle of buying an Opal card, you can just tap and go with your credit card when you enter and exit the train station. 

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Using a Canadian  credit card, I would prefer not to be tapping it at all.   In fact, I do not want to take it out of my wallet.    I would like to pay cash Australian for the Opal card and am wondering how much I fork over for the weekly Pass if it exists.

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you can just put an amount on the card, that will be consumed as your travel, and can be topped up as required. As you tap the Opal Card each time, the balance is displayed, so you know how much credit you have.

Edited by mr walker
OP posted again
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Ok, so if I put 60 dollars on the Opal Card on Monday when I arrive in Sydney and continue to use it all week everyday Monday to Saturday, ending with me taking the train from Kings Cross to the cruise port on Argyle Road - stop for the Radiance of the Seas, $60 dollars will cover me as the transportation website seems to indicate that the weekly cap is $50.  $60 should cover all transport including out to the Blue Mountains.  Am I interpreting this Opal Card correctly.  Yes, I will tap when I get on and off each time I use various modes of transport.  If that is the case, then the transport is pretty cheap. 

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This link may help.

https://www.airportlink.com.au/opal-cards/

The so called "gate fee" is an extra cost arriving at or departing from Sydney Airport stations (International and Domestic terminals) as they are owned by a private operator through which government trains pass. You can purchase your Opal card at the station ticket office before you access the platform to board the train. I have used the airport station many times and consider the "gate fee" as part of the fare.

Edited by lyndarra
forgot the link
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1 hour ago, lyndarra said:

I can't help with info of the normal daily/weekly cap as I have a Seniors Opal card on which I ride all day for $2.50 on government bus, train or ferry.

 

That is a bargain!.  We used it for out last trip to Sydney but I was told that because I have a Veteran Affairs Gold TPI card I could travel for free, but at $2.50 a day who cares

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3 hours ago, lyndarra said:

I can't help with info of the normal daily/weekly cap as I have a Seniors Opal card on which I ride all day for $2.50 on government bus, train or ferry.

I should have added - except for airport premium.

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3 hours ago, lyndarra said:

I can't help with info of the normal daily/weekly cap as I have a Seniors Opal card on which I ride all day for $2.50 on government bus, train or ferry.

My Senior opal cards arrived today ,as we are only using the train from airport to accommodation near Museum station and then next day to the stop  near the port I reckon $20 should do it.

Cheers Carole

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5 hours ago, pink845 said:

Can someone explain.

 

I not sure if this has already been covered, but the airport station access fee is separate from the normal public transport fee.

 

So if you do a lot of travel on public transport in the week, you will pay $50, which is the cap. However if you use the airport stations you will have to pay an additional $14.30 for each time you pass through the turnstile (or whatever you call those things you wave your Opal card at). So that is what you have to allow for.

 

This is because the stations under the airport (plus Mascot and Green Square, but that's another story) are owned by a private company. The railway just happens to pass through them.

 

As an aside, many people are not aware of it, but 85% of that $14.30 is taken by the state government.

 

Sneaky people who aren't in a hurry can catch a taxi from the airport to Mascot station and save some money. It costs roughly $17 to $22 depending on traffic. There is also a 400 bus to Mascot station for the very frugal.

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Sneaky people who aren't in a hurry can catch a taxi from the airport to Mascot station and save some money. It costs roughly $17 to $22 depending on traffic. There is also a 400 bus to Mascot station for the very frugal.

 
Yep - we have used the frugal option when we have plenty of time.   Short walk to bus and short bus ride to Mascot - saving round $30 for 2 of us.   I refuse to pay a premium price to squeeze myself onto a crowded train.   
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Ok, many thanks for all the replies and information.  Just wondering if someone who has actually put $50 or $60 dollars on their OPAL pass leaving Sydney airport could reply confirming that there is a weekly upper limit and that no further money is charged upon reaching the $50 dollar limit for the week.  The Transit website is a tad confusing.    Obviously, we are spending Monday to Saturday in Sydney and will be doing more than eight single trips.  I wonder if a Journey is one way or return.    We would have to put at least $65 dollars on the Opal card, we believe to cover the extra airport fee as well and I am hence thinking that our travel would be all paid for the week.  Again, has someone out there a visitor done this type of thing.  Would be great to hear back.  

 

  • Lower fares - Opal card fares are cheaper than Opal single trip tickets and Opal single bus tickets.
  • Capped fares – No matter how much you travel with Opal you never pay more than your daily, Weekly or Sunday travel caps.
  • Weekly travel reward – After eight paid journeys in one week (Monday to Sunday), you earn the Weekly Travel Reward, which means your fares for the rest of the week are half price.
  • Security – If your Opal card is registered, your balance is protected if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Off-peak savings – With Opal, a 30% discount applies to all train journeys made on weekends, public holidays and outside of peak hours.
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Are you going to take the train from the airport - then you need add on the airport fee mentioned above - that 's not included in the cap.  A  journey is one-way - but can include a connection e.g. change from one train to another.  All he other info on this   thread is correct  - so yes there really are daily and weekly caps!  The daily cap of under $3 on a Sunday is an excellent bargain. 

 

You no longer need an opal card though - just use a tap and go credit card - easier as you don't have to guess how much to load onto the Opal card. Note you cannot get a refund from your Opal balance -  though you can use it corner shops 

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6 hours ago, lissie said:

Are you going to take the train from the airport - then you need add on the airport fee mentioned above - that 's not included in the cap.  A  journey is one-way - but can include a connection e.g. change from one train to another.  All he other info on this   thread is correct  - so yes there really are daily and weekly caps!  The daily cap of under $3 on a Sunday is an excellent bargain. 

 

You no longer need an opal card though - just use a tap and go credit card - easier as you don't have to guess how much to load onto the Opal card. Note you cannot get a refund from your Opal balance -  though you can use it corner shops 

 

Just keep in mind you need a contactless credit card. Distribution of these is not universal and many credit cards in the US do not have this feature.

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10 hours ago, pink845 said:

Ok, many thanks for all the replies and information.  Just wondering if someone who has actually put $50 or $60 dollars on their OPAL pass leaving Sydney airport could reply confirming that there is a weekly upper limit and that no further money is charged upon reaching the $50 dollar limit for the week.  The Transit website is a tad confusing.    Obviously, we are spending Monday to Saturday in Sydney and will be doing more than eight single trips.  I wonder if a Journey is one way or return.   

 

A journey is closer to a single, but includes transfers.

 

Any transfer(s) you make within one hour of the previous is charged as a journey. That means a return can actually be a journey as well.

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7 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

 

Just keep in mind you need a contactless credit card. Distribution of these is not universal and many credit cards in the US do not have this feature.

 

Gosh still? I thought they might have caught up by now - we've had them for years 

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Thanks for the replies.  A further query - once we leave arrive international area, prior to boarding the train, can we buy the Opal card with a Canadian credit card at a customer service desk manned by a person. Also, is there a cost for the actual card itself; I do recall in some Asian cities, we had to pay something like $5.00 dollars for a transit card and then add the money value we wanted to the card on top of the initial privilege of possessing the actual card).  

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1 hour ago, pink845 said:

Thanks for the replies.  A further query - once we leave arrive international area, prior to boarding the train, can we buy the Opal card with a Canadian credit card at a customer service desk manned by a person. Also, is there a cost for the actual card itself; I do recall in some Asian cities, we had to pay something like $5.00 dollars for a transit card and then add the money value we wanted to the card on top of the initial privilege of possessing the actual card).  

You can either buy it from the newsagency near the train station (sorry I forgot its name) or from custmer service desk at the train station.  Assuming your card is visa or mastercard and  your issuing bank hasn't blocked foreign transactions on it (call them to notify you're travelling) its just like any other CC transaction 

 

No, there is no charge for the Opal card - but a minimum initial balance of $35 at the airport 

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Ok, thanks Lissie.  So we are going to be there M to F.  Do we simply just put the weekly maximum - what would that be $60 dollars plus the $14.87 Airport Access Fee and be done with worrying about the cost of transportation for the entire week - which would allow us to hop on trains, buses, ferries at our leisure all week.   We would pay cash. Can we pay cash at the Customer Service Desk at the airport.    We prefer not to use our credit cards in foreign countries.     

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20 hours ago, pink845 said:

Ok, thanks Lissie.  So we are going to be there M to F.  Do we simply just put the weekly maximum - what would that be $60 dollars plus the $14.87 Airport Access Fee and be done with worrying about the cost of transportation for the entire week - which would allow us to hop on trains, buses, ferries at our leisure all week.   We would pay cash. Can we pay cash at the Customer Service Desk at the airport.    We prefer not to use our credit cards in foreign countries.     

You could pay cash I assume - most places still take it in Australia.  You can use a debit card too - so long as it has the international logos or cirrus or plus on the back. Australia is one of the most  wired countries in the world. Its rare to pay with cash in Oz - the last 2 week trip I did there between 3 adults we spent about A$50 cash - the rest was all cards. Using a debit card with zero international fees is by far the cheapest and most convenient way to pay in Oz - Transferwise is the one I  use. 

 

I wouldn't that much on the Opal card in advance - because if you spend less you won't get a refund. And you can top up with  a min $10 at every station, corner store etc But yes you won't pay more than the weekly maximum plus the access fee. 

 

 

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