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Public Transport in Sydney

Sydney’s transport system is diverse, clean and reliable. With buses, trains, ferries and a new light rail lane, there are plenty of transport options for getting around the city easily and efficiently.


Sydney has several train lines from Central that head east, north, west and south from the Central Business District (CBD). There are plenty of stations along each line, so check the timetable to see if any are close to where you live. The train system is an effective choice for getting to the outer suburbs and around the CBD quickly.

Light rail

A new CBD & South East Light Rail lane has just opened, running from Randwick and Kingsford to the CBD. Light rail services are also available between Central Station and Dulwich Hill, stopping at a number of popular city centre and Inner West locations. At peak times on weekdays they run every ten minutes.


To get to many of Sydney’s metropolitan areas, buses are the best option. Buses service almost all parts of Sydney and its outer suburbs, so it’s pretty likely there’ll be a bus stop near you. Buses around Sydney vary in arrival times, usually averaging between 5-15 minutes at popular bus stops and ranging up to an hour in the outer suburbs. If the bus has an L or X somewhere in the number, be careful! Some of these buses are express buses, meaning they won’t stop at certain bus stops. Check with the driver if you’re unsure.


Ferries cover almost every suburb that’s fronted by Sydney Harbour, including Manly, Balmain and Circular Quay, and even extend as far as Parramatta. The ferry system is one of the prettiest ways to get around the city, taking advantage of the city’s harbour, port and river system. Tickets are a little more expensive but worth it for the scenery.


You can either use your debit/credit card to use the public transport network or purchase an Opal transport card. Regardless of which option you choose, you need to tap on and tap off your card, as the fares are calculated based on the distance you travel. If you don’t do this, you may be charged at a higher rate.

If you want to use Opal, you’ll need to load money onto your Opal card at a station or an authorised store such as 7-Eleven. Visit this website for information on where to buy and top up an Opal card.


To get real-time travel information for buses, trains, light rail and ferries in Sydney, download the TripView app. Available from the App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store, it makes planning your travel around the city a lot easier. With information on delays, vehicle locations and service interruptions, it will help you select the best available option for your journey.

As an international student, do I get a discount on public transport?

International students are generally not entitled to transport concessions in NSW unless study is fully funded by specified Australian Government scholarships. For more information see:

See the Transport NSW website for more information.