Public Transport in New South Wales – Opal Cards

Public transport can be expensive, but can still be significantly less than the cost of driving a car.

NSW is the only state in Australia that does not provide concessional public transport to most international students. Previously the NSW government gave international students the same access to student concessions for public transport as any other student. In 1989 just as the international student ‘market’ started to expand they withdrew this and since then international students have had to pay full price to use public transport. The SRC believes all students should receive transport concessions and that not providing these to international students is discriminatory.

International students need to purchase a full (black coloured) Adult Opal card (unless they are on an Australian Government Scholarship or exchange position). For locations – go to the Union Shop in the Jane Foss Russell Building, Footbridge Station or see

Concessions for some International Students

Concession Opal Cards are available to International Students on an Australian Government Scholarship or exchange position, fully funded by the Australian Government. If you are eligible, you must carry a valid proof of entitlement to travel on concession fares across NSW. This can be a Transport Concession Entitlement Card issued by Transport NSW or an Approved Form of Student ID Card. If you do not have a Transport Concession Entitlement Card and are on Government Scholarship or exchange position then you can apply online here:


The SRC strongly advises that all students take care to always travel with the correct Card (such as in your pocket or your wallet, not at home). Transit police frequently check buses and trains and will heavily fine anyone without a card or who have not paid the correct fare for their journey. If you receive a fine from NSW Transport, the SRC Legal Service may be able to help. Make an appointment by calling (02) 9660 5222.

Cheaper Travelling Times

You can reduce your public transport costs by traveling off-peak when train tickets are cheaper or capped Opal Card use on Sundays after a certain number of trips.


When travelling from place to place, always consider your safety. You may wish to follow the advice at:

For more information on public transport in NSW, see the NSW Government’s Transport website here:

Important Notice and Disclaimer: This information does not constitute Legal advice. Seek qualified professional advice before making decisions about educational, financial, migration or legal matters. This information can change from time to time. Check for the most up to date information.

Information current as at May 2020