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NSW Government documents show up to $31 million skimmed from commuters by faulty Opal system

Oct 7, 2016Media releases

Documents obtained under the Government Information and Privacy Act (GIPA) show that millions of public transport users in NSW have been overcharged because of faulty Opal card readers or people forgetting to tap off.

In the past 18 months there have been 11.5 million trips where card users were hit with the default fare – which can be more than $8 a trip – netting the Baird Government up to $31 million dollars.

RTBU NSW Tram and Bus Division Secretary Chris Preston said that the Baird Government’s Opal system had been riddled with problems from the start and needs an immediate overhaul.

“The Opal system was riddled problems from day one. On buses commuters are daily being overcharged on as the card readers are riddled with faults or people simply forget to tap off.

“The Baird Government must immediately repay up to $31 million dollars it’s swindled from commuters through its fault ridden Opal system.

“Now we know this has cost commuters a staggering $31 million over the last 18 months.”

“Every day the Baird Government is ripping over $56,000 from the pockets of honest, well-meaning NSW commuters.”

“It’s an absolute disgrace that commuters are being forced to foot the bill for the Mike Baird’s failure.”

“We call on the Baird Government to immediately reimburse the $31 million dollars it’s swindled from commuters.”

“It’s time this Government overhaul the system and give the public something that works.”

The Auditor General found that faulty devices on buses failed over 8,000 times in just 12 months, a problem which the Government claimed it would fix.

“Our drivers are sick and tired of the Opal system not working, and then having to cop the blame for it.”

“It’s unbelievable that apart from the inconvenience of a system that doesn’t work, commuters, including pensioners, students, and the unemployed, are being blatantly ripped off to Mike Baird’s benefit.

“Its little wonder Mike Baird’s Liberal Government claims to be rolling in cash.”

Whilst commuters may have been eligible for a refund, less than one percent (109,491) of the 11.5 million trips have been adjusted.

Clearly commuters aren’t fully aware of their rights, and our drivers are the ones bearing the brunt of people’s anger, whilst the Baird Government sneakily pockets their money to improve the bottom line.”

“Our drivers will be telling commuters to lodge their complaints and seek refunds via the 13 OPAL government hotline, I expect the phones will be ringing red hot.”

“Instead of swindling hard pressed commuters, who already have to put up with late public transport and burning buses, the Mike Baird should do the right thing and immediately pay back $31 million dollars to NSW commuters and fix the public transport system.”

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