The bill to roll out Opal top-up machines has hit $26 million yet only a third have been installed across the transport network.
Documents obtained by NSW Labor under freedom of information showed that the budget at the end of June 2015 for installation of top-up machines was $26.35 million to deliver just 102 machines.
That puts the cost of each machine at a staggering $258,000.
The NSW Opposition is calling on Transport Minister Andrew Constance to come clean and explain whether a blow-out in installation costs is the real reason for the delay of Opal top-up machines across the network.
In July 2015 Mr Constance promised that “Close to 350 machines will be rolled out across train stations, ferry wharves, and bus and light rail stops by early next year.”
That time has come and as of March there hadn’t been a new Opal top-up machine installed in almost five months with only 94 locations listed on the Opal website.
There are still 248 locations across NSW without top-up machines. To date the Minister has been unable to adequately explain why the rollout is so badly delayed.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay MP
“Andrew Constance needs to come clean with commuters.
“No new machines have been installed in months. What is the real reason for the delay in installing the machines he promised?
“The government has no problem designing glossy brochures and expensive animations – but when it comes to the basics it’s all a bit too hard.
“Seniors and pensioners shouldn’t have to track down an Opal top-up machine – there should be one at the train station they get on at.”