Major changes to Opal Cards

Just as commuters were getting used to Opal it's all about to change.

The Independent Pricing Tribunal is reviewing fares on trains, buses, light rail, and ferries.

"This is the first time we've looked at all types of transport all at once, and as a result we're able to look at integrating fares more than they have been," IPART CEO Hugo Harmstorf told 7News.

But commuters across Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, The Hunter and the Blue Mountains could end up paying more.

The review will decide ff fares should still be charged based on the transport mode - or the distance traveled.

There are big changes on the way for the Opal Cards. Source: 7News

Whether higher peak-hour fares should be extended to encourage people to delay their daily commute, and if free travel should still be triggered after eight journeys - of if it should be replaced with free weekend trips.

The review will also consider if cheaper long-distance journeys should cost more - bringing them in line with other major cities.

"Well it's one thing to have a review to streamline and make it simple, it's another if this is just going to be used as an excuse to increase fares, at a time when we're seeing record train cancellations," Shadow Transport Minister Ryan Park told 7News.

IPART will report to the government early next year - with new fares to be introduced in July.

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