VIDEO: Opal Man is Transport for NSW’s newest advertising campaign for the Opal card
Tuesday: Woman on train filmed being abusive and racist to other passengers
A woman on a Central Coast train was filmed abusing other passengers, including children, after asking the children to give up their seat so that she could sit down. Another passenger then offered his seat to the woman, but she did not take up the offer and instead called the police. The video, uploaded to YouTube by user Kareem Abdul, shows the woman calling the police about the incident before she begins calling other passengers “bogan” or “gook” (a derogatory term aimed at an Asian woman on the train) as well as mocking an Asian woman and asking her “what’s wrong with Hong Kong, why did you come to this country”. At the time of writing, the video has over 800,000 views.
The woman later apologised for her actions, claiming that she had a “rotten day”. It also emerged that the name “Sue Wilkins” that she gave on the phone to the police was not her actual name. She was later arrested by police over the incident and taken to Wyong police station.
Transport for NSW issued a statement over Twitter, stating that they would work with police to keep customers safe.
Tuesday: Sydney Trains turns 1 year old
Sydney Trains had its first anniversary, following the creation of Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink on 1 July 2013 from the old Railcorp and CountryLink. Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins spoke to radio station 2GB about his 12 months on the job in which he cited clearer train and station announcements as one of his successes. He also called for more capital investment in the rail network, and urged that it be continued investment rather than one off investments.
The news was followed with an announced $33m refresh of 28 stations across the network, on top of 19 stations already announced that are to be refreshed. This will involve a deep clean and overhaul of facilities, including upgraded toilets, new furniture, energy-efficient lighting, repainting and landscaping. The move has received criticism for including stations which have just been upgraded in recent years, such as Newtown (2013), North Sydney (2008), or Seven Hills (2008). The 28 stations include: Ashfield, Auburn, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Rockdale, Macquarie University, Bankstown, Mount Druitt, Liverpool, Edgecliff, Campsie, North Sydney, Rhodes, Chatswood, Hornsby, Epping, Eastwood, Artarmon, Westmead, Gordon, Newtown, Campbelltown, St Peters, Sutherland, Seven Hills, Sydenham, Turramurra, and Milsons Point.
Tuesday: Road tolls increase
Tolls on most Sydney freeways increased, with the biggest increase found on the M7 where the maximum toll rose 19c to $7.56. License fees for 3 and 5 year drivers licenses also increased by $4.
Wednesday: Opal Man campaign introduced as Opal rolls out to almost 1,000 buses in a month
A new advertising campaign involving “Opal Man” (see video at the top of this post) has been introduced, with 5 actual Opal Men deployed to various stations on the network to encourage individuals to get their Opal card. 360,000 Opal cards have now been issued, with over 15,000 more cards issued every week.
The rollout will see Opal readers enabled on 600 Hillbus buses on 30 June as well as a further 300 buses in South West Sydney and Hurstville on 14 July and 16 July respectively. A total of 5,000 buses across NSW will be Opal enabled by the end of the year, with light rail set to be Opal enabled in early 2015.