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Transport Minister closes ticket windows to force Opal take up

Apr 10, 2014RTBU News

The NSW Government is closing numerous ticket windows throughout city and suburban train stations to force commuters into using the often more expensive Opal card, said the NSW Rail Tram and Bus Union today.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said the NSW Government was determined to make the Opal card work and was going to drastic lengths make people use it.

“Before the Opal Card has even been fully rolled out, the NSW Government is closing or drastically reducing the hours of operation of ticket windows across the city and suburban rail network,” Mr Claassens said.

“Almost fifty tickets sellers have already been removed from stations such as Wynyard, Chatswood, Ashfield and Hornsby. Four have gone from Central Station, three from Town Hall and three from Cabramatta Station.

“This is forcing commuters to wait in longer and longer lines to purchase their single, travel ten or weekly tickets.

“Many people have chosen not to move to the Opal system because they have compared what they pay now and found the Opal more expensive. These people are being penalised for taking the more cost -effective option.

“The Government is pumping out media release after media release boasting about the uptake of the Opal card when in reality they are giving commuters little choice but to use it if they want to avoid the queues and get to their destination on time.

“The impact of removing ticket sellers will also be felt more broadly as many passengers seek advice from ticket sellers on which train they should get or which platform they should go to.

“The end result is a poorer customer experience for Sydney rail passengers.”

Mr Claassens said more ticket sellers are mooted to go as the NSW Government continues its ‘review’ of stations this month with almost twenty more stations under the microscope including Parramatta, Hurstville, Campbelltown and Blacktown.

“Stations which only have a single ticket window such as Padstow, Riverwood, Lakemba and Merrylands could lose their ticket window altogether,” he said.

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