Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Your Ticket to Travel in Sydney

We do not own a car yet we are mobile due to the efficiency of the public transport system here. In Malaysia, this would be close to impossible as the public transport system is something to be desired. Over here, taxis are the more expensive option but reliable and will take you to your destination without much fuss. Other forms of transportation - bus, ferry, light train and train are not only a cheaper option but reliable and convenient too. 

Each mode of transport has its own ticket types - MyBus, TravelTen, MyFerryMyTrain. Then you have the MyMulti that allow you to travel on all modes of transport with a single ticket. All tickets are for a single journey except for the MyMulti (unlimited trips on various mode of transport) and TravelTen (allows up to 10 separate trips but with substantial savings as oppose to buying a single trip x 10).

With all the different options, how do we choose the type of ticket to suit our travel needs without bursting the wallet? Just continue reading and hopefully you'll get a better idea at the end of the article. Please note that these recommendations are based on my experiences, lifestyle and should be used a guide only.

MyMulti tickets are good if you are a short term visitor to the city. As you will be maximising your stay and visiting as many places as you can, the unlimited trips allowed on the four different transport systems mean you won't be spending an arm and a leg just to get around.

When we first arrived, we purchased the MyMulti weekly pass ($46) - a good option as we had to make multiple trips back and forth in order to settle down (traveling to house inspections, setting up bank accounts, signing up for whatever that is needed for a new home etc).

The MyMulti is also good if you are a working resident or someone that travels on a daily basis. Besides the weekly pass, they also have monthly, quarterly and yearly passes. For more information on MyMulti, click on this link.

Once we moved to Newtown, I realised that MyMulti weekly pass is turning out to be an expensive option. Not only we do not have to travel as much as we used to, our main mode of transport is either the bus or to walk. Despite having 3 train stations within walking distance, we are very lucky to be on quite a number of bus routes. Thus Sydney's Public Transport application keep recommending routes that do not require any train rides. Therefore having a transport pass that allows me to get unlimited access rides to various means of public transport is no longer required.

Since my main mode of transport is the bus, I would stock up on MyBus1 and MyBus2 TravelTens. Unfortunately, there are no monthly passes for MyBus. In the event I need to take the train or the ferry, I will then purchase a single or return trip MyFerry/MyTrain ticket. In the long run, this method is more economical for me.

If you are a non-working resident/long time visitor like me, you might not be going out on a daily basis or as often. Even if you do, your destination is not that far away allowing you to walk there (like going to the grocer's, the shops etc). You may want to opt for the MyBus or MyFerry TravelTen. Light Rail tickets are available in daily/weekly passes and MyTrain are available in 7 or 14 day passes.

Another option is to use the Opal card, currently available on trains and ferries only. Buses are expected to use this system by the end of the year. Go to Opal for more info.

What about moments when you really need a car e.g. purchasing bulky items or need to cover a few places within a short span of time? Well, we would make our way there by bus/train/ferry and take a taxi back. As a last resort, we would rent a car using either one of these services - GoGet Carshare or Hertz. This does not happen often, in fact we have only done this twice in the months we have been here.

Hope this write up has helped you plan your travels within your budget. For more information on Sydney Transport, do visit their website at 

Note: For phone apps that can help you get from point to point, do read My Modern Day Maps.

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