Free public transport for Ukrainian refugees in Sydney

Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees are given free access to the state’s public transport system as they try to rebuild their lives in NSW.

The state government will offer more than 250 Opal cards with $200 credit to recent Ukrainian arrivals to help them move around the city.

Transport Minister David Elliott said he hoped the small gesture would ease the financial burden during their first few months in Australia.

The Ukrainian Council of NSW said being able to afford to travel is vital for employment and educational opportunities.

The Ukrainian Council of NSW said being able to afford to travel is vital for employment and educational opportunities.Credit:Jessica Hromas

“It can be very difficult to leave a life behind to seek safety and shelter in a new country, and providing these Opal cards is a small gesture to help them travel to important meetings and appointments such as medical attention community support groups and religious services,” Elliott said.

“As the primary provider of public services, the NSW Government will do whatever it takes to ensure that victims of this senseless military action can feel safe and secure.”

The Opal cards will be distributed by the Ukrainian Council of NSW to the most deprived.

NSW Ukrainian Council President Dan Wolody said the initiative would help the recent arrivals build a new life.

“Having mobility and being able to afford to travel while integrating into your new environment is vital in job search and further education,” Wolody said.

The Opal card initiative comes after the government offered commuters 12 free days over the Easter holidays as an apology for the 24-hour shutdown of the train network in February.

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