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First Stop transport

Getting around NSW by public transport has never been easier.

Public transport services and facilities are continually improving, making it easier for everyone to get around.

You can use this First Stop page to get tips for making your trip as smooth as possible, to access transport resources, and to locate further information.

You can also download and read the document version (pdf 3.9MB) of this online resource and a Trainers Workbook (pdf 5.7MB) to help you check your understanding of how it all works you.

Planning your trip on public transport

You should plan your trip to make sure you don't miss your service.

Plan to arrive at the station, stop or wharf 5 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your service. For buses you should also check that the service is not deviating from it's regular route.

You can use the Trip Planner to help plan your full trip from A to B, including an estimated cost, or use Next departures to see all the services from a particular stop, station or wharf.

Look up a particular route to see the full timetables and map for that service.

Metro icon

Trains icon

Buses icon

Ferries icon

Light rail icon

To identify the right location, look for the simplified letters, colours and codes, which are used for each type of transport to help you better navigate from one transport mode to another. The codes are M for Metro, T for train, B for bus, F for ferry and L for light rail. Train and ferry lines also have codes for each line (for example T1, T2, F1, F2) you can look up these codes on the key to icons and line codes page.

However, getting on and off your train, bus, ferry or light rail service is only part of your trip.

It's also important to consider how your will get to and from your public transport service.

Stations, stops and wharves may also have a range of services and facilities to help you on your trip.
Visit the ways to get around page and choose a travel mode (e.g. Metro, Train, Bus etc.) for more details.

When travelling by bus you must signal the driver for the bus to stop at the designated bus stop.

To travel on public transport, you’ll need a valid ticket or pass.

There are a range of fare options for travel on public transport available depending on who you are, where you are, how far you travel and how often you travel. For some services you may need to pre-purchase a ticket.

Sydney and surrounding regions

An Opal card makes travelling on trains, buses, most ferries and light rail easy and convenient across Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands. Opal cards are smartcard tickets that you keep, top up and reuse to pay for travel. You only need to get an Opal card once by going directly to one of the thousands of Opal card retailers. You will need to add value or top up your card balance and then you're ready to travel.

You can also go to the Opal website or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) to obtain an Opal card and have it mailed to you.

Alternatively, if you have a contactless enabled credit or debit card (or linked device) you can tap on and tap off with contactless payments and will pay an Adult fare. When you use the same credit card, debit card or linked device for all your travel, all week you will receive the same travel benefits of an Adult Opal card.

If you don't have an Opal card or contactless payment method, then as a last resort you can purchase Opal single trip tickets from machines located at selected train and Metro stations, ferry wharves and light rail stops. Look up your stop, station or wharf to check if there is an Opal single ticket machine available at that location when planning your trip.

You can no longer buy a ticket on board most Sydney bus services, you will need to have an Opal card or contactless payment card before you board.

If you are eligible, you can apply for a concession Opal card.

Learn more about Opal, travel benefits and topping up your Opal card.

When you're planning your trips on public transport, you should consider the whole trip - all the way from door to door. Getting to and from public transport is an important part of a trip. Depending on where you live, this may involve anything from a few steps to a few kilometres.

The Centre for Road Safety website contains useful information to help you make it to and from public transport safely including:

Google maps is another handy tool for preparing for your trip. The Street View function allows you to see a photographic view of the area you will be visiting. This can be helpful if you want to see if you will have to climb stairs, cross a busy road, or find other details specific to your journey.

Note: Google Maps is regularly updated, but not all information and images are guaranteed to be current.

Although most services operate consistently, there may be times when services are running out of order, or not running at all.

Check in advance to see if the service you want is operating normally by checking trackwork and travel alerts, planning your trip or using transport apps.

Note: Ferries at low tides may not operate to schedule. Buses replace ferries between Parramatta and Rydalmere when tides are low.

Some trips may involves catching more than one train, bus, ferry or light rail service, or a combination of modes.

The Trip Planner can tell you if you need to change between services, the distance between them, the right platform or stand to use, and how long you may need to wait.

The services and facilities available on your trip depend on the mode of transport and the particular stations, stops or wharves you will be using.

Stops, stations and wharves

Some train stations, ferry wharves and bus or light rail stops will have extensive services and facilities available, whereas others may not have any.

You can look up stops and stations to check the facilities at any you are planning to use.

Onboard facilities

To check what features and facilities are available on board services you can check the Train, Bus, Ferry or light rail pages or for Regional Train and Coach services.

For more information about safety and security onboard public transport services, at stops, stations or wharves, what to do if you feel unwell, information on how to use emergency help points, visit our safety and security pages.

Improvements to services and facilities mean that public transport is now easier for everyone to use.

You can use the Trip Planner to help plan an accessible trip and depending on your eligibility, there are a range of concession tickets available to make travelling easier.

If you travel with a mobility aid you can check what is allowed on board, or whether you can travel with an assistance animal.

When it comes to transport information, there’s no time like real-time. Real-time information lets you know what’s happening with transport services at this very moment.

There is a range of ways to keep updated about services, including a number of real-time apps that you can use to track services on your mobile device. These apps are quick and easy to use, allowing you to find information about Sydney and greater metropolitan services when you need it.

Metro Extension Work

There are some significant changes happening with the construction of the Chatswood to CBD, CBD to Sydenham and Sydenham to Bankstown Metro.

Work is due to be completed in 2024.

Information on upcoming changes can be found by visiting

About Sydney Metro City & Southwest or My Sydney

Parramatta

Construction has begun on a light rail network in Westmead, west of Sydney.

Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.

Stage 2 will connect Stage 1 and the Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic.

Information on upcoming changes can be found by visiting Parramatta Light Rail.

Sometimes you will need to consider transport options other than public transport. There are other ways to make either all, or part, of your trip.

For example, you may decide to catch public transport to the shopping centre, and take a taxi back home with your grocery bags. Or if you're travelling to a busy event, you may want to drive for part of the trip so you can park easily, and catch public transport from there.

Effective trip planning includes giving yourself as many transport options as possible.

On Demand Public Transport

On Demand is a flexible public transport service designed to improve connections to transport hubs and popular destinations like shopping centres or hospitals.

There are On Demand services operating around NSW as part of a trial.

On Demand services can pick you up from home or an easy to access location, and take you where you need to go. Whether it's a bus, ferry or a bike, you can book an On Demand service for your next trip.

Driving

Driving can be a good option when there are limited public transport options available, or if you need to travel to get to public transport.

Everything you need to know about using NSW roads, including trip planning information is available here.

The Centre for Road Safety website has information and resources to help you arrive safely at your destination.

Taxi and hire cars

In NSW, you can either catch a taxi at designated taxi ranks (such as at shopping centres) or hail them in the street. A taxi is available if the sign on its roof has the light on.

There is a range of information about using taxis and hire cars in NSW, including:

The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme offers reduced fares to residents of NSW who are unable to use public transport because of a severe and permanent disability.

Community transport

Community transport is a government funded program available to people including:

  • Frail older people
  • People considered transport disadvantaged who did not have access to public transport services due to location, time of travel, personal circumstances or affordability

To find community transport services in your area, see community transport service operators.

Travel checklist

Use this checklist to make sure you are fully prepared before you travel.

Public transport travel checklist

Before taking my trip, I have:

Contact