Sydney Public Transport

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Sydney public transport includes the trains network (former known as the Cityrail), buses and ferries.

If you are a tourist or just want to get quickly to some of Sydney attractions or inner suburbs, hop on the tram, use the free city shuttle bus, or get a taxi.

Up until 2013 the City had a monorail system to get visitors moving around the central area and into Darling Harbour, but the track, raised more than 5 metres above the street level, has now been removed.

To move around the City use the new Opal electronic ticket system. As of September 2014 it has been rolled out across all public transport. See the tickets section below for more information about the Opal card.

With its huge urban footprint Sydney needs a strong infrastructure and public transport.

While the infrastructure is not too bad, you need to plan ahead and gather information if you want to use the public transport.

The infrastructure is continuously developing with more roads being built from scratch or modernised.

building new roads in Sydney

Like the construction of the M7 motorway (above), finished in 2005.

Other recent road projects include the cross city tunnel and Lane Cove tunnel.

They shorten travel time but don't come cheap.

For example, if you catch a taxi, you will pay the fare plus all the tolls that apply to some roads, bridge, tunnels or airport. The driver will probably ask you whether you want to take a route with tolls or an alternative longer route.

george street bus lane near central station

Sydney Public Transport, What Tickets and Where to Buy Them?

Since September 1, 2014,  a large number of paper tickets have been withdrawn and replaced with the electronic Opal card, which you can use on Sydney trains, ferries and many buses.

An Opal card gives you the option to go paperless and top up when you need. Just tap on when you enter and tap off when you exit public transport. If you travel a lot during the day the maximum daily amount you pay is $15 from Monday to Saturday and $2.50 on Sundays.

Visit opal.com.au to order your Opal card or find out which newsagents and convenience stores sell them. There is no fee for the card, all payment goes towards your transport charges.

You can still buy several paper tickets for a while:

  • adult single or return, and child off peak tickets for train rides
  • single or travel ten for buses
  • single or retutn for ferries
  • day and weekly for the My Multi option

The off-peak and longer term train tickets are not available any longer and probably Opal will soon replace most if not all paper tickets.

Here's what was available in the past:
If you used more than one public transport service the MyMulti ticket for a day, week, month, quarter or year was a good option. It allowed you to travel as much as you wanted on all buses and ferries during the respective period.

There were three MyMulti tickets that worked on all Sydney public transport. You could travel on the city rail, in addition to buses and ferries with all of them. It was just a matter of telling your ticket vendor what rail station you wanted to go to and they would tell you what ticket to get. For example to get around the City and north to Chatswood you needed a MyMulti 1. To go to Parramatta or Hornsby - a MyMulti 2. If you travelled furhter to the outer suburbs - a MyMulti 3.

For Sydney buses only, the driver accepted cash payments or the MyBus TravelTen - 10 tickets with a discount. Some buses only accepted a prepaid ticket.


If you are a visitor or want to make the most of one day buy a MyMulti Day Pass to use on any train, bus and Sydney ferries.

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