Millions of Australians to enjoy free travel on public transport for 12 days

Greater Sydney public transport users can travel easily from Thursday, with a new initiative to temporarily remove transport fares.

Following a recent announcement from Transport for NSW, the Opal Network will be free for a total of 12 days, from 4am on Thursday 14th April until 3.59am on Tuesday 26th April 2022.

The fare-free initiative, which follows industrial action on fares, should give travelers respite from recent events, while also encouraging a boost to tourism and business across the network.

“With the floods, industrial action and COVID-19 it has been a difficult time for many, and this initiative will bring relief to hip pockets, encourage people to enjoy what Greater Sydney has to offer and give also a boost to business,” said Howard Collins, chief operating officer of Transport for NSW.

Officials predict that millions of people will take advantage of the period of free public transport. Source: Getty Images

“Go to the Easter pageant, catch a soccer game or dinner with family and friends, and help revitalize our downtowns and support local communities.”

The free period covers all Opal Network services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra, and includes Tube, Rail, Bus, Light Rail and Ferry services.

NSW TrainLink regional trains, coaches including XPT and Xplorer services, and the Sydney Airport Rail line are not included in the free ride initiative.

How to use the free system

Mr Collins explained that customers are still required to scan as normal, although free rates are automatically applied.

“Although fares will not be charged to commuters during this period, the Opal system will still work as it helps Transport for NSW and other operators plan services and keep people safe by monitoring passenger numbers and capacity on the network,” Collins said.

“To access free fares, simply tap and tap a valid Opal card or contactless credit or debit card (American Express, Mastercard or Visa).”

Opal scan off reminder poster on a ferry terminal window.  Source: Getty Images

Free parking in the Transport Park&Ride car parks will continue to be available until 6 p.m. To access the free Park&Ride car park, commuters must press and turn off as normal. Source: Getty Images

Mr Collins also reminded certain types of commuters to be aware of additional terms during the free period.

‘If you are traveling with school children please remember you must use a valid Child/Youth Opal card as School Opal cards do not work during school holidays,’ he said.

“For those flying during the holidays, make sure you allow plenty of time to get to the airport and if you take the train you will still have to pay the station access fee.”

Those attending events with integrated ticketing, such as the Easter Show, during the free period, need only show their ticket to station staff or when boarding services, or press and remove normally for a free trip.

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