Accessing seniors fares in NSW

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Rosslyn is heading to Sydney but is unsure how she can access Seniors Card concession fares on public transport without an Opal Card.

Q. Rosslyn
I have a Victorian Seniors Card and wanted to get a Seniors Opal Card for public transport in Sydney. I noticed on its website that it is only available to NSW seniors. You mentioned in your publication that there is now agreement between the states to allow seniors to use their Seniors Card in other states for discount public transport. How can I use my Victorian Seniors Card to get the concession price for public transport in Sydney?

A. Opal cards are only available to NSW residents, however, the public transport system in NSW still issues paper tickets, for which you can use your Seniors Card to obtain the most appropriate seniors fare.

You can find out more at Transport NSW

Remember, it’s always worth asking about other discounts your interstate Seniors Card can be used to access as many businesses will honour discounts offered via that state’s Seniors Card program.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 6
  1. 0

    The information above does not appear to be correct.

    As a Victorian, I recently applied for a Seniors’ Opal Card. It was granted on the basis that I am also an aged pensioner.

    The Seniors’ Opal Card is NOT available to interstate seniors who are not pensioners. But advice received from Victorian seniors department suggested this could be subject to change.

    The NSW transport website makes it clear that paper tickets including the $2.50 pensioner ticket will be “retired” from 1 January 2016.

    Elsewhere on the website it suggests that concessions are available to seniors from other states – in line with the changes made by the Rudd government some time ago. However, it must be remembered the Abbott government withdrew funding for the interstate recognition of seniors’ concessions on public transport.

    There is no doubt the NSW government positively discriminated against interstate seniors when it introduced the Opal Card. But maybe this had been the result of an administrative oversight or bureaucratic inertia?

    Interestingly, there appears to be no problem using an interstate seniors card to book a country journey in NSW including the incredible value of the $2.50 country ticket that lets you travel long distances so long as you don’t go near Sydney!

    When I organised my Opal card the person at the end of the line jokingly suggested the policy was aimed at keeping Mexicans “south of the border” but a workaround could be applying for a NSW seniors’ card using the address of a friend or relative.

    • 0

      Well done pn1. If YLC can’t even give correct advice on ‘How to pay for a Train Ticket’ ‘ then how can we trust other YLC information that deals with our retirement plans? So,over to you YLC, has pn1 ‘got it right’???? I suspect that the silence will be deafening!!

  2. 0

    I recently traveled to Sydney from Perth and was able to present my Seniors card to any Transport to get a discount. Was even given the option for a day pass on Buses, Trains and Ferries all for the price of $2:50.

  3. 0

    Hello I too live in Perth and have a WA Seniors Card and Pension Card and was able to purchase an Opal card online which in turn was posted direct to me in WA as I frequently visit family in Sydney.

  4. 0

    e from WA would have qualified because of the pension card (and being able to quote a Centrelink number). jaycee would have been OK too because the (presumably paper) ticket was purchased personally. But come 1 January when the paper tickets are withdrawn and unless the rules are changed it will not be possible to purchase a senior Opal card without either a NSW seniors card. We are talking about seniors’ card holders as distinct from those on an aged pension. Clearly confusion remains supreme and the article published today remains erroneous. And maybe the NSW government has sent a message to interstate seniors? But the old saying; if its hard to determine whether something is a conspiracy or a cock up it’s usually a cock up!

  5. 0

    Seniors from outside NSW should remember that it’s necessary to apply for a Gold Opal card prior to leaving home. The cards can’t be obtained when you arrive in NSW. Proof of eligibility is required when applying for a Gold Opal Card.

    Bus single and return tickets are still available on trains. One way tickets without transfer can be obtained on buses. Generally cash fares are higher than Opal.



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