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How Opal fares are calculated

Opal card and contactless fares are calculated according to the distance that you have travelled, from where you tap on to where you tap off.

Each mode of transport is divided into distance-based fare bands.

The fares in each fare band vary according to whether you are travelling on:

When you tap off, how far you have travelled is matched to a fare band and your Opal card type and any applicable fare discount or cap is automatically calculated and applied. The fare is then deducted from your Opal card or charged to your contactless payment card.

Opal single tickets can also be purchased for each fare band. Select your destination on the ticket machine or inform the bus driver of your destination and you will be provided with the correct ticket. Opal single bus tickets are not available on Opal only buses.

You can recognise any Opal transactions, such as top ups (online or at ticket machines) or single trip ticket purchases, on your bank statement if ‘TfNSW’ and ‘Opal’ is listed in the transaction description.

You will receive a 30% discount when travelling on weekends, public holidays and outside of the peak times below. The discount applies for off-peak travel on metro, train, bus and light rail services when using an Opal card or a contactless payment.

Your fare is calculated based on the time you tap on.

Days of the week Sydney metro/train peak times Intercity trains peak times Bus and light rail peak times
Monday to Friday

6.30am - 10am

3pm - 7pm

6am - 10am

3pm - 7pm

6.30am - 10am

3pm - 7pm


Your Opal fare will match the distance of track travelled between the station you tap on at and the station where you tap off. With contactless payments, you get the same fare and travel benefits of an Adult Opal card.

For train travel in or out of the Sydney CBD on services that go via Wynyard, Kings Cross or Central stations, the distance of 3.21km is charged and added to your total trip distance.

In some cases, where there are multiple ways to travel between two stations, the shortest track distance may not always be used to calculate the fare.

You can use the Trip Planner or Opal Travel app to plan your trip and get the approximate fare. When you use a single trip ticket machine, the correct fare is also shown.

Sydney airport fares

When travelling to the airport train stations, the Sydney Airport station access fee is added on to the cost of your fare.

For bus, ferry and light rail fares, you will be charged based on the distance between where you tap on and tap off.

  Opal cards Opal single trip ticket Opal single bus ticket OpalPay Contactless payments
What do I need to do? Tap on and tap off Opal readers

Buy from Opal ticket machines

Tap on and tap off  Opal readers

Buy on board selected bus services Tap on the operator's payment device only Tap on and tap off Opal readers with contactless-enabled credit or debit cards or a linked device
Adult fares Yes Different to standard Opal fares Different to standard Opal fares Different to standard Opal fares. Please check with the operator Yes
Child/Youth fares Yes Different to standard Opal fares Different to standard Opal fares Different to standard Opal fares. Please check with the operator No
Concession and senior/pensioner fares Yes No No Selected services only. Different to standard Opal fares. Please check with the operator

Gold or Concession Opal cards accepted but you may be charged the full fare. Check with operators
Standard Opal fares Yes No No No Yes
Weekly Travel Rewards Yes No No No Yes
Travel Caps (including Daily and Weekend caps) Yes No No No Yes
Transfer Discounts Yes No No No Yes
Trip Advantage Yes No No No Yes
Transport Park&Ride Yes No No No No
Private operator travel discounts or benefit schemes Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable No Not applicable

Please note:

Goods and services tax (GST) is included in the fare charged for all journeys on the Opal network. GST in Australia is a value added tax of 10%.

Different terms and conditions apply to non-reloadable Opal cards including School Opal cards and free travel Opal cards which are for eligible customers only.

When using your Opal card or contactless credit or debit card, fares are charged depending on the distance of your trip or overall journey, and transfers you make along the way.

A trip is travel on one route, on one mode. When you transfer to another route or service, you are commencing a new trip.

A journey consists of one or more trips on eligible services where transfers between services occur within 60 minutes.

A transfer occurs at the end of a single trip. It is a change of transport mode or route, to another service or route, to continue a journey. Transfers made within a standard transfer time of 60 minutes combine trips into a single journey.

The 60 minute transfer time applies to all services except the Sydney Ferries Manly ferry service where the standard transfer time is 130 minutes from tap on.

There is a limited amount of time you can spend on a single journey when travelling on public transport in the Opal network. The maximum journey time is the maximum time allowed between a tap on and a tap off. The maximum journey time varies between modes and locations.

If you tap off after the maximum journey time, then the previous tap on will be treated as an incomplete journey. If this happens at train stations or wharves with gates, you will end up being charged two default fares:

  • one for the incomplete journey that exceeded the maximum journey time and
  • again for the subsequent tap off which is then classed as an unstarted journey by the Opal system

If this happens at an ungated site, such as light rail stops, most wharves and many train stations, you could be charged two default fares:

  • One for the incomplete journey that exceeded the maximum journey time. At the ungated site, the Opal reader will check and identify an incomplete journey.
  • The next tap on will be seen as a new journey. This tap on can be reversed. If it is not then a second default fare could be charged.


Journey type Criteria Maximum journey time

Train journeys taken using Sydney Trains.


  • Penrith to Chatswood
  • Campbelltown to Berowra
  • Newtown to Bondi Junction
5 hours
Outer metropolitan

Train journeys within outer metropolitan areas of Greater Sydney operated by NSW TrainLink trains which do not cross into or depart from the area covered by Sydney Trains.


  • Gosford to Wyoming
  • Nowra to Wollongong
  • Bathurst to Lithgow
  • Goulburn to Moss Vale
5 hours
Intercity / Commuter services

Train journeys that make one crossing into or out of the area covered by Sydney Trains are provided with one extra hour.

Any Sydney Trains or Intercity NSW TrainLink service through any of the following stations: Emu Plains, Macarthur, Waterfall and Berowra.


  • Newcastle to Central
  • Central to Lithgow
6 hours
Exceptions for very long train journeys


  • Must enter and exit the area covered by Sydney Trains as part of the journey.
  • The train journey needs to pass through any two of the following stations: Emu Plains, Macarthur, Waterfall or Berowra.

Type 1: Most long train journeys are provided with two extra hours (e.g. Wollongong to Newcastle or Moss Vale to Katoomba)

Type 2: Train journeys greater than 350km (e.g. Scone to Bathurst or Goulburn to Dungog)

7 hours (Type 1)

16 hours (Type 2)


Journey type Maximum journey time

For buses a maximum journey time applies to any bus trip that includes an implied transfer.

An implied transfer is only applicable to bus and is designed to ensure that you will not be out of pocket in the following situations:

  • The bus route ends in a 'loop' and you remain on board to reach your destination
  • A driver crew change occurs part way through the trip along the bus route
  • The driver start the new bus trip early (before you tap off)
  • The driver starts the new bus trip late (after you tap on)

In these situations, the bus fare will be calculated as normal.

For any other trips, the only rule applied is that you tap on and off the same bus.

4 hours

Light rail

Journey type Maximum journey time
All light rail services 3 hours


Journey type Criteria Maximum journey time
Journey requiring transfer at Circular Quay Any ferry journey that involves a transfer (1 only) at Circular Quay 4 hours
Gated wharf to gated wharf
  • Circular Quay - Darling Harbour Wharf
  • Darling Harbour Wharf - Circular Quay
  • Circular Quay - Circular Quay
  • Darling Harbour Wharf - Darling Harbour Wharf

Note: Excludes Manly Wharf

1 hour
Same ferry route/service

All services that do not meet any of the above criteria

Note: All services west of the Harbour Bridge (river services) are treated as the same route (i.e. tap off / on is not required at stop over wharf)

3 hours

When calculating fares, including weekly and daily travel caps, the Opal day starts at 4am on that day and ends at 3.59am the following day.

The Opal week starts on a Monday at 4am and ends the following Monday at 3.59am.

Pre-authorisation $1 charge

After you tap on at the Opal reader at the metro station, train station, ferry wharf, light rail stop or bus, a pre-authorisation $1 charge will appear as a pending transaction on your statement.

As you travel throughout the day fares will be accumulated, and the total cost of the day’s travel will be processed at the end of each day. The total cost will replace the $1 charge.

How fares are processed

The description on your credit/debit card statement will appear as ‘TransportforNSW Tap’ or ‘TransportforNSW travel Sydney’. The date the payment appears may vary from the actual travel date depending on your bank’s processing time.

Institution processing times differ so the transaction date on your statement may not be the exact date that you travelled.

Transport for NSW processes payments at 4am the day after travel has taken place so you may see delayed transactions or fare adjustments on your statement up to seven business days after you travelled. This is normal and may occur for various reasons, including when you qualify for an Opal Daily, Weekly or Weekend Travel Cap. If you wish to query the charge please contact your card issuer after seven business days have passed.

Refunds and fare adjustments

If you believe your card has been used fraudulently you should contact the issuing bank immediately.

If you believe you have been charged an incorrect fare, find out more about the refund process for contactless.