• Advertisement

Introducing OPAL Card

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 pm

A shame nothing was done about incorporating the transfer discount, doubtless because no one wanted to pay for it. Still a small step in the right direction.
simonl
 
Posts: 7948
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 843 times
Been thanked: 364 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:00 pm

Its very much like the international airport station fee cap - how every single Opal Benefit is exempt from it + how it doesnt count towards caps.

Thats what happens when you give a private operator access to your public fare system.
Scania K280UB CB80 > Volvo B7RLE CB80

Millennium > Waratah
User avatar
Jurassic_Joke
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:08 pm
Location: North Snore
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 84 times
Favourite Vehicle: STA Scania K280UB CC CB80

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:18 am

The financial audit of Transport NSW was released on Friday.

The main recommendation was to prevent tapping off with negative Opal card, despite acknowledging negative Opal balances represented just 0.2% of passenger revenue.

Overall passenger revenue increased by $93 million last financial year, a result of the changes to the Opal fare structure and increased patronage. Opal revenue increased 62% on Fridays, and 78% on Saturdays.


https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDoc ... 7.pdf.aspx
andy_centralcoast
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:22 pm
Location: NSW
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 84 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:52 am

Jurassic_Joke wrote:Its very much like the international airport station fee cap - how every single Opal Benefit is exempt from it + how it doesnt count towards caps.

Thats what happens when you give a private operator access to your public fare system.


And if you were able to buy a can of Coke from a vending machine using Opal (as you can on many such cards), would you expect benefits from that too?
The Sydney Classic and Antique Truck (and Bus) Show
On again May 2018
@ The Museum of Fire.
User avatar
boronia
 
Posts: 17473
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:18 am
Location: Sydney
Has thanked: 256 times
Been thanked: 1589 times
Favourite Vehicle: Dennis

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:55 am

Amazing that something that increased $1.3m was the main recommendation.

Yet in the next para they estimate 22m journeys were people didn't pay (probably $100m).

I'd be more concerned at the cost of all these cards lost - running around 5% of cards issue in the last 12months, and I'd assume at $2-3 each (including card, Opal branding, distribution etc) that cost is as much as the negative balance.

I'd assume they could easily generate a report on last tap-off location for these negative cards - average negative balance is only $3 or so.
moa999
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:12 pm
Has thanked: 264 times
Been thanked: 270 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:03 am

Yeah, IPART lost interest in removing the PET from the AM peak after finding that it was only 4000 users/day which is a minimum of a touch over $1m p.a.

Pretty piss weak of the auditor there but there was a good recommendations with bus full performance targets.
simonl
 
Posts: 7948
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 843 times
Been thanked: 364 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:59 am

Fleet Lists wrote:Nor do they count to caps.

The Manly Fast Ferry timetables (they have not been renamed as yet) have an OpalPay link on them now which shows this when clicked on.
Attachments
Screenshot 2017-12-16 11.53.34.png
Screenshot 2017-12-16 11.53.34.png (21.84 KiB) Viewed 3002 times
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:04 am

andy_centralcoast wrote:The financial audit of Transport NSW was released on Friday.

The main recommendation was to prevent tapping off with negative Opal card, despite acknowledging negative Opal balances represented just 0.2% of passenger revenue.

Overall passenger revenue increased by $93 million last financial year, a result of the changes to the Opal fare structure and increased patronage. Opal revenue increased 62% on Fridays, and 78% on Saturdays.


https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDoc ... 7.pdf.aspx

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ ... =editorial
Opal card loophole costing taxpayers more than $4.2m
Clarissa Bye, The Daily Telegraph
December 16, 2017 12:00am
Subscriber only

TAXPAYERS are millions of dollars out of pocket as freeloading travellers exploit an Opal loophole, tapping off with a negative balance then ditching their cards — saving up to $15 a trip.

And despite the government being previously warned about the problem, the rort has only worsened with the number of Opal cards with negative balances ballooning from 363,000 during the 2015-16 ­financial year to 776,771.

Opal cards can go into a negative balance if they are not linked to an account and so far losses have reached at least $4.2 million.

The Opal card rort is worsening. Picture: Cameron Richardson

Users can rip off the system by catching a $15.24 free ride from Parramatta to the Domestic Airport during peak hour, as the fare is $18.62, but only a minimum of $3.38 is needed to tap on.

And revenue losses generally, caused by an estimated 9.7 million train fare evaders and 9.4 million bus fare evaders came to $81 million.

The alarming figures were revealed by NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford in the Transport 2017 report released yesterday. She said an estimated 22 million trips were being taken by fare-dodging bus and train travellers.

Unless Transport NSW implemented “measures to prevent loss of revenue from passengers tapping off with negative balance Opal cards”, lost revenue would “continue to grow over time”, Ms Crawford warned.

Opposition transport spokesman Michael Daley said the Transport Minister needs to act now to close the loophole. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

“Revenues from unregistered Opal cards with negative balances cannot be recovered unless the passenger tops up the card,” Ms Crawford said.

While the state government last year closed the loophole allowing commuters free trips after eight journeys a week, acting opposition transport spokesman Michael Daley said Transport Minister Andrew Constance needed to act immediately on fraudsters exploiting the system.

A NSW Transport spokeswoman said it was aware of customers exiting public transport with a negative balance on their cards and “we are continually working on solutions to reduce revenue loss”.

Since the introduction of the Opal system, fare evasion had dropped from 11 per cent to 6.2 per cent, she said.

Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:16 am

Every other state charges a fee/deposit to remove the above loophole but that produces a disincentive to use the smart card technology. Probably, the $1.3m p.a. loss is preferable, although if you stopped the train gates opening at the airport stations the maximum you can get away with massively. You could also put an Opal top up machine inside the barrier so people legitimately using their Opal aren't trapped.
simonl
 
Posts: 7948
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 843 times
Been thanked: 364 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:36 pm

Back to Manly or My Fast Ferry
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, and My Fast Ferry customers will be able to take advantage of OpalPay on routes between Manly and Circular Quay.

You tap on only with no tap off.

BUT there is also a timetable for a Manly to Darling Harbour via North Sydney on Transport Info which shows Opal enabled. If that is the case how would the system know if you get on at Manly whether you are travelling to North Sydney or Darling for which different fares apply?
Attachments
Screenshot 2017-12-16 15.28.13.png
Screenshot 2017-12-16 15.28.13.png (71.02 KiB) Viewed 2955 times
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:40 pm

The Manly Fast Ferry website shows this
Screenshot 2017-12-16 15.37.20.png
Screenshot 2017-12-16 15.37.20.png (86.41 KiB) Viewed 2969 times

So differentiation between the two routes. So my question still applies unless Opal can only be used on the Manly to Circular Quay route.
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:48 pm

On the new page on Transport Info about OpalPay https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/opalpay it states:
Services that accept OpalPay

OpalPay is available wherever you see 'OpalPay accepted here'.

My Fast Ferry (formerly Manly Fast Ferry) is the first operator to offer OpalPay on three of its key routes between Manly and Circular Quay, North Sydney as well as Darling Harbour.. You will be able to tap to pay with your Opal card on selected My Fast Ferry services. Find out more.

The word "selected" has got me intrigued.
So back to my question.
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:08 pm

Are there different wharves for the different destinations? There are at Circular Quay; perhaps if the same wharf serves both destinations, there are different readers?

Manly Fast Ferries also go to Watson's Bay via the Quarantine Station. I guess Opal can't be used on those services?

The cash fares don't put the most expensive price in the peak. A misprint, perhaps?
simonl
 
Posts: 7948
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 843 times
Been thanked: 364 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:17 pm

simonl wrote:Every other state charges a fee/deposit to remove the above loophole but that produces a disincentive to use the smart card technology.

You could mitigate much of the disadvantage by making the initial fees fully refundable and making those refunds easy to obtain. Ideally, we should have machines dispensing reloadable Opals that will also provide refunds on returned cards. The lack of non-cheque refunds is a problem for overseas visitors which we should solve. It is far easier problem to solve than offering single integrated fares with our fare system. Hopefully, they will improve the situation before they introduce fees. I was hoping that contactless would resolve the issue but based on the revealed truth it is not clear the government intends for it to share the same pricing as the current stored value card any time soon, if ever. TfNSW could issue a introduce a reasonably priced day ticket which would be of some benefit. According to the current Opal TOU, "Opal One Day Travel Pass" cards can be sold by "Approved Organisations" but will not be sold directly to customers nor will they be available for the full range of concessions.
Passenger 57
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 105 times
Been thanked: 70 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:32 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:So my question still applies unless Opal can only be used on the Manly to Circular Quay route.

According to the news item from MFF:
OpalPay is now accepted on the Manly Fast Ferry route between Manly and Circular Quay


There is also some additional information about transaction limits that I haven't seen mentioned so far:
OpalPay transaction limit $25, Daily limit $30, Weekly limit $200.

So don't spend too much at the kiosk. I wonder if the daily and weekly spends will be derived from the card or online. If the latter tapping on with an Opal card may be slightly slower than with the MFF smart card.
Passenger 57
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 105 times
Been thanked: 70 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:33 pm

Noticed new My Fast Ferry and OpalPay signage at Wharf2 CQ this morning.

From other posts MFF is using a new smartphone terminal for tickets.

Both to process the barcodes from their new apps, and presumably to debit the Opal Card using OpalPay (or presumably credit cards as well) for tickets bought on the spot.

I'd think the ticket seller puts in the route, and then you pay - no Opal poles or gates imvolved
moa999
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:12 pm
Has thanked: 264 times
Been thanked: 270 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:40 pm

Passenger 57 wrote:You could mitigate much of the disadvantage by making the initial fees fully refundable and making those refunds easy to obtain

That's the QLD system. You can catch the train to the airport, and then get a refund for your Go Card there, in cash, with a conditions. Formerly it was also possible at the Gold Coast Airport after catching the bus there.

You can also get your money deposited into an Australian bank account, so the NSW system is only really a problem for international visitors.

To be frank, this $1.3m p.a. is one of the smallest issues in Sydney's transport system. I'd much prefer that than having 25% of people using cash, as is pretty close to the mark in WA, for example.
simonl
 
Posts: 7948
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 843 times
Been thanked: 364 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:05 pm

simonl wrote:Are there different wharves for the different destinations? There are at Circular Quay; perhaps if the same wharf serves both destinations, there are different readers?

Manly Fast Ferries also go to Watson's Bay via the Quarantine Station. I guess Opal can't be used on those services?

The cash fares don't put the most expensive price in the peak. A misprint, perhaps?

From Manly the service is to Darling Harbour via North Sydney (Jeffrey St) so same ferry according to the Transport Info timetable - I have circled one such trip in both directions - in fact in the timetable it stops at some other wharves as well.
Attachments
Screenshot 2017-12-16 17.01.19.png
Screenshot 2017-12-16 17.01.19.png (81.38 KiB) Viewed 2935 times
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:11 pm

simonl wrote:
Passenger 57 wrote:You could mitigate much of the disadvantage by making the initial fees fully refundable and making those refunds easy to obtain

That's the QLD system. You can catch the train to the airport, and then get a refund for your Go Card there, in cash, with a conditions. Formerly it was also possible at the Gold Coast Airport after catching the bus there.

You can also get your money deposited into an Australian bank account, so the NSW system is only really a problem for international visitors.

To be frank, this $1.3m p.a. is one of the smallest issues in Sydney's transport system. I'd much prefer that than having 25% of people using cash, as is pretty close to the mark in WA, for example.

Yes, I agree the bad debt is not really a concern, which in any case is mightily offset by the interest free loans provided by cards with positive balances. My main concern is the lack of more flexible refund options combined with poor singles ticketing offers infrequent travellers and international visitors in particular a bad experience. I suspect the government will eventually do something about the abuse of Opal in this way because it is a bad look and Opal was seemingly designed with an initial fee in mind. The question is will the government do something about it before contactless is fully rolled out? Any initial fee will put and end to the (limited) availability of zero balance Opal cards from stations which is an implicit acknowledgement that availability of reloadable cards is deficient.
Passenger 57
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 105 times
Been thanked: 70 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby pgt » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:51 pm

simonl wrote:You could also put an Opal top up machine inside the barrier so people legitimately using their Opal aren't trapped.
When I was going through the International terminal station back in September (on my way to a flight), there was a top up machine to the right of the barriers before the exit (beside the office).

Thinking about it now, that machine was a card-only unit though (no cash accepted), and I'm not sure if one was able to top up at the window on the "paid" side of the gate with cash/at all.
"It's my way or the (side of the) highway".
Might be a way to lead life, but more like the way that some people drive.
User avatar
pgt
 
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:05 pm
Location: Now deep in STA territory
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 50 times
Favourite Vehicle: MAN SL202/MB O305G/Volvo B10M

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:10 am

andy_centralcoast wrote:The financial audit of Transport NSW was released on Friday.

The main recommendation was to prevent tapping off with negative Opal card, despite acknowledging negative Opal balances represented just 0.2% of passenger revenue.

Overall passenger revenue increased by $93 million last financial year, a result of the changes to the Opal fare structure and increased patronage. Opal revenue increased 62% on Fridays, and 78% on Saturdays.


https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDoc ... 7.pdf.aspx


Oh honestly in my opinion they should start charging for the card itself and be done with it. Nothing is free - meaning the taxpayer subsidises the cost of these too, which further adds to the ridicule. How many other jurisdictions have free smart cards? Replacement cards shouldn't be free either. It made sense when Opal was new to get people to sign up for the card (along with 8-then-free OOPS wait), but now that its half a decade old and the backbone of ticketing and fares, there should be a small charge in place in my opinion.

Charging for the card (somewhere around $7.50 sounds fair) will act to close off the loophole, that should putting off people throwing away negative balance cards at the Airport. I would NOT support a scheme where you can't tap off if your card goes into the negative, because that has the capability to punish those not trying to rort and just make it incredibly inconvenient not being able to exit
Scania K280UB CB80 > Volvo B7RLE CB80

Millennium > Waratah
User avatar
Jurassic_Joke
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:08 pm
Location: North Snore
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 84 times
Favourite Vehicle: STA Scania K280UB CC CB80

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:22 pm

Re the tapping on on Malt Fast Ferries I received this reply from Opal
Thank you for contacting Opal Customer Care.

When you are using OpalPay on Manly Fast Ferry services you will need to let the Operator know where you are travelling to and then tap on to the operator?s payment device. This will ensure you will be charged correctly for your travel to your destination.

OpalPay fares are not the same as standard Opal fares. Fares are set by the operators.
Living in the Shire.
User avatar
Fleet Lists
Administrator
 
Posts: 20040
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:49 am
Location: The Shire
Has thanked: 978 times
Been thanked: 1061 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:24 pm

As suspected.
They have removed the gates from the eastern side of Pier 2. Just a desk with a MFF person,
And what looked like a prices A4 sheet with the OpalPay fares.
moa999
 
Posts: 1872
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:12 pm
Has thanked: 264 times
Been thanked: 270 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:42 pm

I find it curious that MFF have dropped time of day pricing for singles with their 2018 prices This will make the price of singles not purchased in bulk the same price across Opal and their new mobile ticketing app MyFastFerry introduced about a week before Opal. Neither of these currently offer time of day pricing but it is not clear whether this new policy is simply price gouging or necessary to drag either the app or OpalPay down toward whichever is the lowest common denominator. I find the relative timing of release of the new ticket options curious too as well. The app seems to have received less publicity than OpalPay but the poor reviews so far may explain that. I'd love to know the commercial details of the OpalPay arrangement. Although the Government has delivered what it promised it has delivered something something far short of what most people would have expected when told that Opal would be accepted on the MFF. I expect most people of the people desiring Opal on the MFF would have expected at least some of the Opal benefits as it is it will only be attractive to the casual traveller many of whom would have preferred contactless instead,

Another curious feature of the new pricing is that children tickets are cheaper when purchased as singles rather than bulk or smartcard but this may well be a typo as these prices have not increased from 2017 prices.

Finally, do we know whether OpalPay will supports tap off reversals? If it is merely a payment system then it will be able to support pass-back to allow multiple people to travel with one card. This is a feature of the MFF smartcard. However, the relatively low daily transaction limits will make this feature relatively useless even if is possible,
Passenger 57
 
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 105 times
Been thanked: 70 times

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby homer9000 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:15 am

how does it work for the tourists the opal card.I was in sydney yesterday coming home from a cruise and had to get from the airport to the city return to get film from a pharmacy at circular quay as the ship i came off doesn't sell any as neither did any shop at the airport. $36 although expensive by say singapore mrt from their airport to the city(they charge less than $6 local money)and hong kong is not too bad once you take conversion from the hkd to aud into account is great too
homer9000
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:00 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 2 times

PreviousNext


  • Advertisement

Return to Discussion - Sydney / NSW

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Route548 and 14 guests