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Sydney Transport Options

If I go on a trip, I usually prefer to travel without the stress (and the cost) that comes with driving, or hiring cars. Sometimes it’s more convenient to stroll or catch a brief bus or train ride to get there without having to navigate streets and traffic that aren’t familiar Learn about driving rules and locate parking.

Thankfully, Sydney is a very public-transport-friendly city; in fact, most Sydneysiders prefer public transportation over driving!

This article explains the different transportation options in Sydney as well as their ease of use and costs, as well as all details that visitors need to know if they are thinking of how to get around Sydney without having a car.

Walking around Sydney

There are numerous locations around Sydney and, in particular, the CBD (central downtown/business district) and by walking. I would recommend walking if you’re in the CBD zone. Although there are trains and buses but it is often easier and faster to walk rather than waiting in the traffic for the bus or paying for the train ticket.

If you’re located in the CBD it’s a small walk across the entire area, from the beginning in the CBD (we’ll call it Central Train Station) to the edges (Circular Quay, which is where is the Opera House is located) approximately 30-40 minutes walk. It’s easy to walk to other places of interest such as Darling Harbour, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and The Queen Victorian Building, and many more.

Moving from the city into various suburbs can be a little more difficult. Although the majority part of Sydney has flat terrain (so there aren’t many uphill walks) The city is spread out quite far. For instance, while traveling to Sydney’s CBD to the neighborhood of Bondi is just 20-30 minutes on a bus and a two-hour walk. It’s not impossible but definitely not something to consider for those who have traveled to Sydney during the extremely humid and hot summers!

Opal Cards

Opal cards are used to purchase tickets in Sydney You can make use of them for trains ferry, buses, or light rail. Reloadable cards permit users to pay a certain amount of cash for travel which is later deducted from the card, based on how long your trip was. Opal cards can only be used to be used within Sydney and the suburbs around it You are not able to use these Opal cards outside of the states within Australia (most cities use their own systems for ticketing, i.e. Melbourne’s “myki” card).

The card is not charged The maximum value of a top-up is $5. The card is capped every day following $16.30 dollars worth of travel (meaning that you have unlimited travel after having spent $16.30) or after you’ve spent $50 in the course of a month (Monday-Sunday). Opal Rewards you with a 2 discount on transfers (catching another transportation option for 60 minutes or less). Holidays, weekends and holidays are priced at $8.15 or for the whole day. It’s an ideal day to take an affordable ferry ride!

I suggest checking for the Transport NSW fare page, since the fares can vary without notice.

Opal Cards can be purchased to adults, but there’s the option of a child’s card for those who are 16 or less, and with discounted (half-price) rates. There are also reduced-fare cards for seniors/pensioners as well as students However, they must also be Australian resident to qualify to use these cards (so you can’t buy any of them if you are an international visitor to Sydney).

Opal cards are available to purchase on the internet (but they must be delivered with the Australian address) or at locations such as the Sydney Airport, at train stations, Woolworths, Coles, 7-11 and a variety of other convenience and grocery stores. You can also add value to your cards at all of these places, and through the internet and the Opal application.

I would recommend downloading the free Opal Travel app on your Android or iOS device. Not only will you be able to monitor the value of your card as well, but you can verify that you’ve done the tap properly, view the history of your trips, increase the value of your card and utilize trip planner to organize your journey on trains, buses light rail, ferry or.

Taking the Train in Sydney

Sydney is served by a vast train network that connects the city as well as all of its suburbs. Sydney Trains are owned and managed through The State Government (specifically Transport for New South Wales) and can be used through ticket sales at the station or with Opal cards. Opal card.

The majority of major suburbs in Sydney have trains at their stations and trains generally run every 5 to 15 minutes (frequency is dependent on the time of peak and the demand of the station) from midnight to 12am every day. After 1am , all train stations close from evening till the dawn, however you can navigate around the city at night by using NightRide bus servicesthat run in place of trains between midnight until 4:30 am.

Central Station (located in the CBD between Haymarket and Surry Hills) is the principal train hub in Sydney The station permits you to connect onto any one of nine lines within the network. Each line is able to cover a distinct region within Sydney (i.e. the T2 line covers the Inner West & Leppington area that permits passengers to take trains starting from to the CBD City Circle, through to suburbs that lead towards Parramatta as well as Leppington).

It is important to know that there’s an additional charge for going via trains towards Sydney Airport; on top of the usual ticket price it’s an airport station access cost that is $14.30 (or $12.80 to children).

In general trains are extremely efficient in Sydney. It is possible to reach all areas with a train and stations are scattered very well across the city, so you are able to reach them through walking or by a short bus journey. Trains are also among the fastest way to communicate in this article, in comparison to ferry, buses, as well as light rail. With trains it is possible to travel into and out of cities without difficulty, and get from A to B quickly and in a short amount of time.

Sydney’s train system is relatively punctual, with delays usually only happening during peak hours and stations being shut on weekends (for maintenance of stations and track work- in which buses are used to replace trains). Stations within the CBD can be extremely packed during peak times on days off (7-9:30am and between 4-6:30 pm) So I’d advise you to avoid traveling to the city by train at these times, as much as you can.

I suggest using the official Transport for NSW site or the Opal Travel app (or even Google Maps) to plot your train routes, as any of these provide simple and clear instructions on how to get there, locate your station, as well as what stop you should get off at.

It is the Bus System in Sydney

Sydney also has a extensive bus network that allows passengers to travel throughout the city and also to the inner suburbs. All buses that are in Sydney are fitted with Opal card readers, however some buses that aren’t in the CBD permit passengers to pay money (paper) tickets for single-way trips.

There are numerous bus hubs inside Sydney and one of them is just outside Central Station called Railway Square (located at the intersection of George and Lee Street), which includes buses that go into the city the eastern suburbs, and the inner west.

The city buses that run regularly are usually between 15 and 30 minutes during peak hours and then the frequency decreases to every 30 minutes or once an hour in off-peak times or on weekends or public holidays.

Certain areas are that are accessible only via buses, for instance, Bondi and Coogee Beach can only be reached via bus (there’s no station for trains or train station in Bondi and Coogee).

The buses in Sydney are unpredictable, as are other cities, they tend to be late, sometimes even early, which means that timetables can be useless. When you do take the bus, you’ll be able to get to your destination in a short time and, depending on the location you’re at or the location you’re going to, it may be easier to take buses instead of taking a train. Every city has at the very the very least one bus line with a variety of stops scattered in the streets to make it easy for access.

The problem with buses in Sydney in addition to the non-reliable schedule and the fact that they can be crowded in peak hours and the seats are filled quickly. There is a chance of standing in a bus with a lot of people when you are traveling during the morning and evening commutes and there isn’t always have sufficient ventilation on buses, too. It can be a very uncomfortable sitting experience on a bus that lasts for several stops if you happen to be in a busy one.

It is also recommended download and installing this Opal Travel app or Google Maps since both provide real-time updated information from your GPS on the expected departure time and times. You can also monitor your bus using these apps and track it the bus as it gets closer to your destination. Make sure you flag your bus once it arrives, and to ring the buzzer once you’ve reached your destination. Buses require that you tap on the bus when you board and then tap off when you leave with the Opal card.

Taking the Ferry in Sydney

Ferries to Sydney aren’t the most popular mode of transport, however you’ll want to get on one to find the most convenient method to reach Manly Beach or Taronga Zoo For instance.

There are eight ferry routes within Sydney In addition to the routes that are mentioned above, there are ferry services from Parramatta (along along the Parramatta River) as well as Neutral Bay Mosman Bay, Double Bay, Cross Harbour, and Cockatoo Harbour.

The principal hub for ferries is Circular Quay, from where you can get ferries to any of the mentioned destinations.

I would highly recommend taking the ferry for a trip to Manly beach. It’s an iconic ferry trip which is perfect for people who visit the city and tourists alike. It’s a stunning view of the ocean and takes just 30 minutes between the town and the beach (which could take more than an hour using several buses, in other words).

The majority of ferry services run every 30 minutes, but the ferries will stop running at 9 pm. Also, I suggest looking at the timetable using an app before you leave and getting to the dock at least twenty minutes prior to leaving (particularly on Sundays, due to being the $2.70 Opal cap, the ferry terminals are extremely packed and busy) So you’ll be able to be sure to get a seat! It is also recommended to arrive earlier because ferry services depart at a established departure times and you’ll also be denied admission if the ferry is at capacity before you are able to board.

Sydney’s Light Rail

Sydney’s light rail system is in operation within the city as well as the surrounding suburbs. It is currently under construction along with another line that will connect the CBD as well as Kingsford and the South East suburbs (Randwick and Kingsford) scheduled for 2020. The light rail runs above ground and functions similarly to a tram, however it operates faster than buses.

There is only one light rail line in operation that stops at 23 stations throughout the CBD up until Dulwich Hill. The light rail runs at several places that are worth visiting in the CBD such as Darling Harbour, The Star casino, Pyrmont Bay, the Fish Market, and the Exhibition Centre.

The light rail is operated every 10 to 15 minutes, based what time it is during the the day, and the last train departs late at 11 p.m. on evenings during the week (12am on Saturday and Friday).

The light rail may be the most efficient way to travel within the city to destinations such as Darling Harbour or the Star however, most other places can be reached faster and easier with trains or buses. If you’re in one of the suburbs located along the light rail line look up Opal Travel’s Opal Travel app or Google Maps to determine the best option for you. the light rail, or alternative modes of transport.

Click here for the Sydney metro map.


In the end, you’ll be able to travel around Sydney by using Uber and taxis. Uber is the primary ride-sharing service available in Sydney however, there’s Shebah (a service that has women drivers), Taxify, and Ola. Uber has the highest popularity and is most widely used of all ride-sharing companies and you can usually hire a driver in just a few 15 minutes in most areas of the city. Lyft is currently not operating in Australia.

Uber rides are reasonably priced within Sydney However, public transport is usually cheaper. Utilizing an Uber instead of. public transport is really down to convenience it is a door-to-door service and can be able to get there faster rather than taking a long wait for buses before walking back from the bus stop to the destination.

An Uber journey begins at just $9 (this is the price you pay for the minimum regardless of the distance you travel) It then adds more $1.45 per kilometre.

As I mentioned in the section on trains I strongly recommend you are traveling to the airport with more than two people more, to make an appointment with an Uber to avoid paying each time the airport access charge, and benefit from the ease of being capable of putting your luggage into the boot of the vehicle and not have to carry it towards the station. It’s also quicker than taking a walk to the station and waiting in line, or taking the train. If you take the Uber to get from downtown CBD towards the airport,, it costs around $40 with UberX as opposed with $17.70 per person for the train. Add in the ease of Uber and it’s worth the extra $4.60 for two passengers to ride an Uber and, obviously, much cheaper if traveling with a group of 3 or 4.

It is still possible to take an ordinary taxi in Sydney If you spot one on the street or spot one waiting at an airport taxi stand. Taxis tend to be more expensive than Uber but they do have the cost of a base rate of $3.60 and the $2.19 cost per km (this rises to $2.63 in the evening). There’s no minimum cost for taxis it’s a good idea to consider taxis if you’re traveling only a few miles that aren’t enough to warrant a $10 Uber ride (i.e. just a few blocks you don’t have the time or desire to walk) it’s better off calling taxis, instead of making an Uber.

Personally, I enjoy using Uber for both a regular component of my weekly travels as well as in other cities. On a typical week, I’ll usually take a couple of Uber trips in lieu of my normal commute when the bus is late, or when the schedule isn’t convenient and I’m looking to go faster, or if the destination is too far away to require a lot of transfers (having to change between more than two trains or buses).