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Introducing OPAL Card

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:44 pm

I discovered a method to tap on/off reliably that minimises on error messages while being able to leave the card in the pouch of your wallet. Instead of putting it flatly against the reader, only lean one side of the card against the reader while keeping the other side about 1cm away from the surface of the reader. It has worked wonders for a successful first time tap on/off.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:43 am

Frosty wrote:There are some downsides with Myki being the physical hardware & software also short fares are very expensive. As myki with the Melbourne fare system is basically a singular fare zone making short fares quite expensive vs Sydney

It wasn't always that way. One upon a time, the Metcard fare system that Myki reimplemented had Short Trip tickets for bus and trams and a Rail Plus 2 ticket for trains. Additionally, it seems the Short Trip x 10 ticket could also be used for this purpose. These was partially replaced with the city only all modes City Saver ticket which was withdrawn in the period leading up to Myki. The effective reduction in metro zones has also put upward price pressure on tickets. There are some saving graces though: one is that the shorter the journey the larger the amount of time remaining from the 2 hours that Myki permits for zones 1 and 2 that is available for an onward or return trip. With Opal one needs to game the system by taking an unnecessary trip to spend any longer than an hour at a location. Another is that after 6pm a 2 hour ticket may be used until the following morning. There is also free travel before 7:15am on trains and free city travel zones. Zone 2 only tickets are also quite a bargain at $2,80 currently for full fares.

I think it would be preferable to have short trip fares and I would be interested in knowing how the current Myki fare structure influences behaviour, At least Myki influences far less stupid behaviour than Opal does.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:41 am

matthewg wrote:My guess is the consortium and/or the NSW Government doesn't want to commit to paying for the contactless backend processing software until they are sure there is demand for it, so they cobbled up something to run single trip payments through the existing payment gateway.

With TfL one of the main drivers of the move to contactless for the majority of their products is reducing issuiing costs. TfNSW may well have concluded that the higher issuing costs of a stored value card can be offset by gouging people for contactless and that it is simply not worth the development costs to do a an equivalent account based implementation, The smaller number of trips in our city may well mean that is the sensible decision. One cannot rule out though that this approach is influenced by political considerations. To be spending a large amount of money on the reimplementation of the backend so soon after the roll out of the system looks seriously bad and the higher issuing costs of the stored value system are far less visible. While one cannot predict the future from the current press releases I am rather disheartened that the prospect of a contactless replacement for Opal is at the very least years off. If only TfNSW had a bit of nous and guts we could have had a complete implementation of an account based system from the beginning and avoided the roll out of card only ticket vending machines.

Now, given that Opal ferry (and possibly train) singles offer (a possibly limited form of) transfers, the question is will the next phase of contactless replicate this or will it prove to be less functional than Opal singles, Given that the latter is hardly acceptable perhaps the prospect of full implementation of the Opal rules under contactless is not as remote as I though or perhaps TfNSW has more horrors to unveil.
Last edited by Passenger 57 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:21 pm

Frosty wrote:There are some downsides with Myki being the physical hardware & software also short fares are very expensive. As myki with the Melbourne fare system is basically a singular fare zone making short fares quite expensive vs Sydney

https://twitter.com/manlyfastferry/stat ... 3694921728 Some news for Manly Fast Ferry so hopefully goes well, good timings just before the middle of summer.

The twitter page has disappeared so it may have been a false alarm as it is now getting close to Christmas.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Glen » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:22 am

I recently noticed a 'no tap off' record on my card (a bus trip).

In this case I had tapped off after only a few stops on a long route so I was overcharged about $1.80.

It isn't for the money, but rather the principle of highlighting machine errors, that I submitted a claim and they quickly reimbursed me, however they didn't automatically also credit me back the $2 mode transfer (train to bus) that you get denied on a 'no tap off'.

So, I wrote back and pointed that out, and they then gave me back that $2 as well.

I wonder how many go unnoticed?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:50 pm

I suspect a fair few - why it's important to look at the reader, and why I'll still use an Opal card if they introduced contactless.

I think of my 8000 transactions on my card (so about 4000 trips) I've had four errors (and about 15 trips where the system wasn't working at all)
Three times where the bus GPS wasn't working (and the driver not doing it manually) which resulted in a higher fare due to the system picking up the start of the route.
And once where during a driver change the system got reset and was still closed.

Does anyone know what the typical read/write life of the card is?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:37 am

moa999 wrote:
Does anyone know what the typical read/write life of the card is?

Well, we know it's at least 8000 taps Mr Guinea pig.
Maybe it's something like 15,000 taps, but most likely it varies due to many factors and you will know when the reader stops beeping at you.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:16 am

Swift wrote:Well, we know it's at least 8000 taps Mr Guinea pig.
Maybe it's something like 15,000 taps, but most likely it varies due to many factors and you will know when the reader stops beeping at you.


The official manufacture spec for the card is minimum 100,000 cycles. It's probably relatively safe to say what the manufacturer calls a cycle is equivalent to an Opal transaction thus the rated life is 100,000 taps, or 50,000 trips.

So say I do 4 trips a day (bus + train) to work and back. At that usage rate, the card should last around 30 years.
Opal has programmed an expiry into the cards of 9 years, so it would take an extremely heavy user to use the card to cycle death before the programmed 9 year lifetime is up.

Conversely Myki, using the SAME cards have programmed in a lifetime of only 4 years.

My London Oyster is now over 10 years old and still valid (although admittedly very low usage :-)

I suspect the main failure mode for Opal cards will be a fracture of the antenna loop wires - watch how many people tap their cards in a way that causes the card to flex.
Thus I suspect cards will fail for other reasons long before cycle death of the flash memory.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby mandonov » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:44 pm

Use your Opal card on My Fast Ferry with OpalPay
Thursday 14 December

From 15 December 2017, you will be able to use your Opal card to pay for ferry trips on a range of My Fast Ferry (formerly known as Manly Fast Ferry) services, thanks to OpalPay.

OpalPay is a convenient new way to pay your fare, allowing you to use your Opal card for more of your trips. My Fast Ferry is the first operator to offer OpalPay as part of a phased roll out. Captain Cook Cruises is expected to offer OpalPay in 2018.

To use OpalPay, tap your Opal card onto a My Fast Ferry point of sale device when boarding the ferry. You will not need to tap off.

Adult and child fares are available but concession fares are not offered on all routes. Using OpalPay, you will be charged the operator’s ticket fare, which is not the same as a standard Opal fare. Check the operator’s fare before you travel to make sure you have sufficient funds on your Opal card to cover the trip.

You can use either an Adult Opal card, Child/Youth Opal card, Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card or a Concession Opal card to pay with OpalPay, however you may be charged the full adult fare if you use a Gold Senior/Pensioner or Concession Opal card. Check with the operator before you tap to pay with OpalPay.

Look out for ‘OpalPay accepted here’ signs to see if you can pay with Opal.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:58 pm

It would be nice to include the reference https://transportnsw.info/news/2017/use ... th-opalpay
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby mandonov » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:08 pm

Knew it was missing something.

From the Fast Ferry twitter: https://twitter.com/manlyfastferry/stat ... 7444084737
Same as individual ticket without smart card, it will still be cheaper to use smart card or new myfastferry app to commute.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:58 pm

mandonov wrote:From 15 December 2017, you will be able to use your Opal card to pay for ferry trips on a range of My Fast Ferry (formerly known as Manly Fast Ferry) services, thanks to OpalPay.


I guess the name change is as a result of the takeover by the NRMA.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby homebush » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:01 pm

The opal website also features OpalPay.
Image
"Pay with your Opal card in even more places. Getting around has never been easier."
The wording seems to indicate they may expand the use of opal cards from just transport towards purchases in stores just like the suica and octopus cards.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:30 pm

No - if you go to the page linked to it is The fast ferry page linked to above.

Undoubtedly in the future it may well come to that but dont read anymore into it at this point in time.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:39 pm

I took a screen shot of what Homebush referred to
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby mandonov » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:49 pm

It's a good workaround for the expansion of Opal to private operators. I can imagine services such as the Bundeena and Hawkesbury River ferries enabling the system, as well as all of these new on demand services.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:17 pm

mandonov wrote:It's a good workaround for the expansion of Opal to private operators. I can imagine services such as the Bundeena and Hawkesbury River ferries enabling the system, as well as all of these new on demand services.


You would have to wonder, however, why a private operator wouldn't just put a bank terminal on their bus/ferry/whatever instead and have a lot broader card acceptance.

The era of a transport ticket being a proxy for a micro-payment system is gone, the banks finally moved in on that turf with contactless.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Glen » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:08 pm

I think whilst ever Opal remains the only way to pay on government subsidised services it is worthwhile for a non-subsidised operator to accept the same card.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Liamena » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:16 pm

https://transportnsw.info/news/2017/use ... y#homepage

This page is directly linked from the transportnsw.info home page, and says you can do this from December 15.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:18 pm

matthewg wrote:You would have to wonder, however, why a private operator wouldn't just put a bank terminal on their bus/ferry/whatever instead and have a lot broader card acceptance.

The era of a transport ticket being a proxy for a micro-payment system is gone, the banks finally moved in on that turf with contactless.

Exactly. There might be some point to this if it offered some if not all of the benefits available with other Opal fares or a least a discount from the regular fare but with contactless (account based) likely being the ultimate Opal future this is just a waste of resources that could have been better directed to the implementation of contactless.

It will be interesting to see if "OpalPay" results in the Manly Fast Ferry discontinuing its own card and offering a discount for Opal cards and whether it reaches any further than the kiosk on the Manly Ferry. and on-wharf shops. I wonder what sort of merchant fee TfNSW is charging for fare collection,
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:30 am

mandonov wrote:You can use either an Adult Opal card, Child/Youth Opal card, Gold Senior/Pensioner Opal card or a Concession Opal card to pay with OpalPay, however you may be charged the full adult fare if you use a Gold Senior/Pensioner or Concession Opal card. Check with the operator before you tap to pay with OpalPay.

You would expect it to automatically apply the right fare, depending on which Opal is presented. Needless inconvenience there.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby molybtek » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:18 am

Does transfer rebate apply to the fast ferry?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby BeauGiles » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:05 am

molybtek wrote:Does transfer rebate apply to the fast ferry?

No
Posts made are my own personal opinions, and aren't made on behalf of my employer.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:27 pm

Nor do they count to caps.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Glen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:25 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:Nor do they count to caps.

That's right, it's purely the convenience of not needing cash or a separate ticket.
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