There has been a surge in the number of Sydney residents signing up for the Opal public transport smartcard, after take-up of the card ran behind expectations for months.
NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said more than 250,000 Opal cards had been registered, and also announced the card's extension to several new bus routes, mostly in the eastern suburbs.
The Opal can now be used on the 326, 327, 355, 361 and L24 routes.
Ms Berejiklian's figure of Opal users represent a rapid growth in the number of people using the card, which has come in for criticism for the types of fares charged.
Figures obtained by Fairfax Media show the government had projected 150,000 Opal cards would be registered by the middle of February.
At this time the card was available to use on all ferries and about a third of the city's train system.
But just 80,195 cards had been registered by mid-February, according to a weekly trial management report released under freedom of information laws.
One of the criticisms of the Opal card is that it can potentially cost public transport users more if they make fewer than eight trips in a week, particularly by bus, or change between multiple forms of transport in one journey.
Geoffrey Clifton, a lecturer in transport at Sydney University's institute of transport and logistics studies, has analysed the Opal fare structure and found most train users will be better off, but infrequent bus users could be penalised in comparison with the cost of a TravelTen.
"I consider myself a regular user but my fares will be going up," said Dr Clifton, who works from home one day a week.
The Opal card can now be used at all train stations in Sydney and surrounds, on all ferry wharves, and on 30 bus routes in eastern and northern Sydney.
The main fare incentive under the card is that commuters travel free once they hit eight journeys a week. On Thursday Ms Berejiklian said 2.2 million free trips had been taken by Opal users.
At Town Hall on Thursday, commuters who had signed up to the card largely praised its convenience, but had a few gripes.
"It's more convenient, I don't have to worry about buying a ticket every morning," Paul Tsang said. "I'm not sure if it's actually saving me any money but it is more convenient."
Mr Tsang added that he did not always reach eight trips a week.
Another commuter, Daphne, said the Opal was "quite convenient" and saved her money.
"But sometimes when I forget to tap that costs me more for the current week which is kind of annoying," she said.
Under the Opal pricing system, if a commuter forgets to "tap off" a bus, train or ferry they are charged the maximum fare for that mode of transport.
The government's weekly reports show that commuters forget to tap off in about 3 per cent of trips.