Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Try these 4 public transport hacks for stress-free travel through Sydney

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Spread across 25 square kilometres and more than 650 unique suburbs, the Greater Sydney area is pretty expansive. And although Sydney city has been ranked as one of the most walkable cities in the world, sometimes, public transport is often a necessity. To make your journey across Sydney as stress free as possible, we’ve put together a few public transport hacks for plain sailing through Sydney. 

1. Check this screen to find the quietest carriage on the train

Photograph: Winnie Stubbs | Time Out Sydney

Sydney’s trains can get pretty packed at peak times, but it turns out, the fix is in plain sight. There’s an easy way to identify the quietest carriages for a cruisy journey, and based on our research, not a heap of people know about it. From the platform, check the screen listing the train you’re waiting for. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a graphic – a line formed out of blocks of green, orange and red shapes that look, when you think about it, pretty similar to train carriages. It turns out, that’s exactly what they’re supposed to be – and their colour coding corresponds to how crowded each carriage is. A red tile represents a full carriage, orange suggests there’s standing room only, and a green tile corresponds to a relatively uncrowded carriage. Check the screen, and choose your carriage accordingly. Life-changing!

2. Charge your phone at the train station

Getting caught out with zero charge can be a major plan-ruiner, but you don’t have to track down an Apple store to recharge your device on the go. Thanks to a $1 million project from the NSW Government (which introduced its first charging hub at Liverpool Station back in December 2023), phone-charging stations are being rolled out at train stations across Sydney, including Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Bankstown, Hurstville, Lidcombe, Penrith, Wynyard and Bondi Junction. Transport for NSW plans on installing more charging hubs over coming months, so keep an eye out at your local station.

3. Take the ferry on the weekend for a super-cheap harbour tour

Taking the ferry across the city is undeniably the most beautiful form of public transport, but it’s not as cheap as the bus or train. Transport for NSW caps their fares on certain days – which means you can spend your whole day sailing around the harbour for under $10. While a standard ferry fare in Sydney is around $4, the Transport for NSW pricing system means that on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, you can’t pay more than $8.90 for travel total (that includes all train, bus, light rail, ferries and metro journeys). That means you can spend all day jetting around aboard the city’s iconic green and yellow ferries for less than the price of a sandwich.

ferry on Sydney Harbour
Photograph: Supplied | Destination NSW

4. Download the Opal Travel app for easier navigation

There are plenty of app options to help with journey planning across the Harbour City, but for the most accurate and up-to-date navigation advice, the Opal Travel app is your best bet. A new widget (available on Apple devices) acts as a navigation shortcut – allowing you to save your favourite trips, and get real-time route advice, which includes trip options, platform numbers, bus stands and more – with automatic refreshes.

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