The NSW government puts particular emphasis on developing transportation and reducing congestions in Sydney. The roads are well-maintained and community transport is well organized, with it you can get to every part of the city. Sydney is divided into zones, which affect ticket prices. It is a huge city, its area is about 14 000 km2, therefore a good public transport system is indispensable for everyday life. The newer public transport vehicles and train stations were designed to meet the needs of disabled people as well. Sydney's public transport system features a network of train, bus and ferry services, which can all be used with a so-called Opal Card, and to make it even more convenient, you can purchase your own Opal Card from the team of StudentStay Australia!

Opal Card

The Opal Card works similarly to a credit or bank card and its sole purpose is the use of public transport. First you need to deposit money onto the card (a minimum of 10 AUD), which can be done at every train station, news agent store, grocery store (Woolworths or Coles) or even at 7-Eleven’s. Alternatively, you can recharge it online from your bank account, or you can even set it to be recharged automatically. When entering a station or getting on a bus, you need to tap your card on the sensor at the gates or on the vehicle. Fares are calculated based on the distance you travel, so don’t forget to tap your card before getting off the bus or leaving the station. The fee of your travel will be deducted from your balance. Most international students spend between $30 - $60 a week on public transport, depending on the amount of travel.

What are the different means of public transport in Sydney?


We can generally say, that the trains are the most popular among all means of public transport in Sydney, because it is the fastest and most convenient way to commute between the suburban residential areas and the Central Business District, where most schools and offices can be found. In the outer areas the local trains run on the surface, but once they are nearing the centre, they go under the ground. Many people are surprised to see that most trains are double-deckers. Since summers are quite hot in Australia, all carriages are air-conditioned. Trains are the most reliable and punctual means of transport, since they have closed tracks and are not slowed down by traffic. On the stations we will find entry gates similar to access gates used around the world.

Light rail

Light rail (tram) services are available between Central station and numerous locations in the centre and Inner West, and a new line will be opened servicing the Eastern Suburbs soon.


Sydney has an extensive and convenient network of bus services. Even if there is no nearby train station, it is likely that there will be multiple bus stops, as they are densely scattered all around the city. To get onto the bus, first you will have to sign to the driver by waving with your hand. If you do not own an Opal card, you can purchase an Opal single bus ticket from the driver (except in morning and afternoon express services). Buses are quite frequent in inner areas and major hubs, coming between 5-15 minutes and could be about once or twice an hour in the less frequent areas.


Ferries play an important role in the life of Sydney, as a significant part of the city is crossed by the bay. If you want to get from one side of the bay to the other, the ferry is probably your fastest option. You can use with your Opal Card as well.

If you book accommodation with us, you can request an Airport Pick-up and on the booking form you can already let us know if you would like to purchase an Opal card from our driver as soon as you arrive in Sydney. This way you do not have to worry about it later when you set off to explore this beautiful city.