One thing I still need to remember is to use Sydney’s Opal Card correctly. Using it getting on and off public transport. Whether it be bus or train (ferry doesn’t count, the large ferry only requires use when boarding) if I don’t want to get into bother, I need to keep it in my hand.
This happened recently on the train heading to Olympic Park. From Central I had to go through a barrier using my Opal card. No getting through without it. The route can be seen below, travelling from east to west.
In fact, I cannot remember if I used it in Lidcombe at all. What I remember is that there are no barriers at Olympic Park and for that reason it didn’t even register with me. This also happened coming back, I assumed that I would just head back to Central, scan my card at the barrier again and it would magically register my journey somehow.
It wasn’t until I was on the train coming back to the city from Lidcombe that I saw everyone with their cards out. It was only a few seconds after this that three members of staff walked into my carriage and opened with the words ‘Opal Cards!’. Now I’m sure this won’t work all the time, but if you’re new to a place, tell them. It’s better to be honest and look a bit clueless than to try too hard and come up with a wacky excuse. I said I was new to the city, they asked a couple of questions (where I’m from, how long I have been here etc) and thankfully that was enough to convince them that I genuinely messed up and wasn’t trying to cheat the system.
So I received the card shown above, I just had to show the staff member at the barrier at Central and got through. Phew!
Don’t be like Sam. Don’t risk losing $100 whilst travelling, save it for something much better.