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Introducing OPAL Card

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Swift wrote:
simonl wrote:Just make it free to ride replacement buses. The lost fare revenue really isn't worth the agro of collecting it.

Good luck selling that to the LNP ideologues.


Really? I thought LNP ideology is we're so rich, we can splurge and waste/lose all the money we want because we have the means to do so. Except when its having free travel after 8 paid journeys in a week, nope, we can't lose money from that

Also look at their policy on fare evading on buses (aka please do it, we do not care), while rail replacement bus drivers telling pax "its free, hop on".

Let them.
Last edited by Jurassic_Joke on Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:09 pm

Night Ride buses charge Opal bus fares (except the Eastern Suburbs one I think is free). It wouldn't surprise me if trackwork replacement buses will eventually charge Opal bus fares too.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:11 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:Night Ride buses charge Opal bus fares, so it wouldn't surprise me if trackwork replacement buses will eventually charge Opal bus fares too.


Yeah but those are fixed routes operating 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, like basically any other bus route (not school). The data was easy to code in, basically just another bus route, bus mode for fares, done.

Rail replacement routes are never/rarely permanent and can change (eg this weeks T1 trackwork, the buses only go into Wynyard, last time it was all the way to central), way way way too many different stopping patterns, it would be a complete headache. But I agree, some thought should be done into the lost revenue here.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:25 pm

Passenger 57 wrote:
gascoyne wrote:Has anyone thought of temporarily reconfiguring the Opal machines on those buses to charge train fares?

As you probably know the rail replacement services in the Newcastle CBD do just that as well as selling rail singles. As to whether its easy to switch Opal between bus and rail modes someone may know whether the buses in use for rail replacement in Newcastle are dedicated to the route or consult a driver about whether Opal can be easily switched between bus and rail modes.


It's also been announced that a standard train fare will be charged on replacement bus services used for the Epping to Chatswood line conversion.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:53 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:Night Ride buses charge Opal bus fares

Possibly, because Opal was introduced on these before rail mode for bus Opal was implemented. Prior to changes in the lead up to Opal, Nightride buses had their own section based fare schedule with bands roughly corresponding to the rail bands but higher prices than peak rail fares except for journeys greater than 65kms. Rail tickets were also accepted including off-peak returns but excluding singles.

(except the Eastern Suburbs one I think is free).

The current page states it is only free if you board the N100 at Kings Cross. Previously, I believe it was only free between Kings Cross and Railway Square inbound. I would suspect a fare would still be charged if you tap.

It wouldn't surprise me if trackwork replacement buses will eventually charge Opal bus fares too.

The sensible thing to do in lieu of proper fare integration is to charge rail fares on Nightride and rail replacement services. That avoids all the complications and inequities arising from mode changes. Only IPART and the Treasury might object to that. Given the rancour that rail replacement causes they just might just keep it free despite the complications it causes to people who have a partial replacement of their rail journey.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:06 pm

It's old news now, but the disproportionate rise in the Airport cap compared to the SAF means that fares for more than a single journey to or from the airport have risen by more than 2.4%. They join multi-mode travelers who also copped a higher than 2.4% rise thanks to no change in the transfer rebate. Tough luck if you're someone who works at the airport and needs to change modes. I didn't see any announcement about the changes to Airport fares. Where are you TV news?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby pgt » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:30 pm

gascoyne wrote:I'd guess that about 70% of passengers on rail substitute buses during trackwork are riding without swiping their opals at the stations at each end. Has anyone thought of temporarily reconfiguring the Opal machines on those buses to charge train fares?
I had to use the rail bus from St Leonards last weekend and there definitely were no signs indicating one had to walk into the station, tap on and then walk back out - though it would have been impossible as the access to the Opal gates was closed anyway.

Only possible where the station access is open, and the Opal poles are accessible.
With gates, I would expect the system wants somebody to pass through with each tap - but how would you "tap off" at an active station like Wynyard in this case (since City Circle trains were still running), without portable readers etc etc?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Aurora » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:20 pm

simonl wrote:Just make it free to ride replacement buses. The lost fare revenue really isn't worth the agro of collecting it.

Rail replacement buses ARE free, on the provision you have a valid OPAL Card on you.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:43 pm

pgt wrote:I had to use the rail bus from St Leonards last weekend and there definitely were no signs indicating one had to walk into the station, tap on and then walk back out - though it would have been impossible as the access to the Opal gates was closed anyway.

If the rail bus was at either end of your journey you would not have been disadvantaged by not tapping on/off for this part of the journey. It's probably not worth further inconveniencing people just to collect more revenue. On the other hand, if the rail bus is replacing a portion of their rail journey they will be passing through the station anyway and if people are given the correct advice about tapping off/on that will save them the having to contact the Opal call centre which is a win-win and requires no additional hardware to boot.

Unfortunately, with our convoluted fare system there are cases where simple advice on a sign is not sufficient. If you travel on the same non-rail mode before and after your rail replacement trip within an hour Opal will assume your entire journey was on the non-rail mode. So for example, if you travel from A to the station by bus, hop on a rail replacement bus, then transfer to another bus and travel to B, Opal will charge you a bus fare as if you'd traveled from A to B. Depending on your journey if may be beneficial to pop into the station so that your pseudo-rail journey can be priced into the fare.

Better yet, would be if Opal could analyse journeys and automatically apply credits when there are these service disruptions to avoid the need for people to contact the call centre. Of course, full fare integration with no peak surcharging would also fix the problem of people being charged higher fares because of forced mode changes due to service disruptions but we won't ever see that.

With gates, I would expect the system wants somebody to pass through with each tap - but how would you "tap off" at an active station like Wynyard in this case (since City Circle trains were still running), without portable readers etc etc?

You don't need to pass through - the gates will close after a timeout. More of a problem is that gates differentiate between tap-ons and tap-offs. That needs to be disabled to allow people to tap-off and not be charged a default fare or portable readers used.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:20 pm

Aurora wrote:Rail replacement buses ARE free, on the provision you have a valid OPAL Card on you.

Care to point to the relevant legislation? In the past you would have needed a valid ticket to travel on a rail replacement bus and I suspect that is probably still technically true but not enforcable. Opal only constitutes a valid ticket for travel if you tap on. Really, the advent of Opal has made it impossible to have the same degree of revenue protection on rail replacement services if it ever was an option before. I guess RPOs could still do various other checks other than checking that tickets were tapped-on e.g. Opal card not disabled or on the hot-list, or single trip tickets not being reused. Some of the other checks are more legally questionable: valid concession authority matching Opal card type, traveling with positive balances but I doubt its all worth the effort and further impost on customers. Probably, far better to deploy them to provide customer information and should it become policy to allow people to transfer to rail buses without tapping off/on RPOs could challenge people at the barriers.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:24 pm

The only solution is to have the buses go to all rail stations themselves, but that would make them agonisingly slower and they are trying to run as close to the speed the train can do between stops (which a bus would rarely do). I guess this Is a compensation for inconvenience by default.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:05 pm

What happens if you tap on at gated station, but then don't go through the barrier?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:40 pm

boronia wrote:What happens if you tap on at gated station, but then don't go through the barrier?

Couldn't they disable the barriers on bustitution stations remotely?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:26 pm

They often do. A few times I have been through Central and all the gates are open.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby simonl » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:13 pm

Aurora wrote:
simonl wrote:Just make it free to ride replacement buses. The lost fare revenue really isn't worth the agro of collecting it.

Rail replacement buses ARE free, on the provision you have a valid OPAL Card on you.

That only applies if there is no Opal equipment on the bus. Still, it's effectively true.

Checked the Opal FAQ.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:21 pm

When there is Opal equipment on the bus, it has always been disabled when I've used such buses.

I presume it is not "programmed" to handle train related transactions.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:35 am

boronia wrote:I presume it is not "programmed" to handle train related transactions.

Even if it can easily be done, would there be any political desire to charge fares on temporary rail replacement buses? I wonder if the Newcastle rail replacement code is general enough to be used on other routes and whether the exact GPS coordinates of stops needs to be entered for rail mode. In my opinion, the code could be written such that the nearest rail station to a stop (for that line) is used for fare calculation. Another possibility is simply to use straight line distance instead of track distance.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Tonymercury » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:02 am

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:40 am

So TfNSW finally managed to cancel the unregistered implant.That seems like it might potentially prejudice their current court proceedings against him for traveling without a valid ticket so I suspect its an indication that they'll drop the proceedings which aren't really in their interest. It might have been smarter to do it after the case is withdrawn/dismissed. I wonder if he'll separately manage to wrangle any decent compensation for the improper cancellation of his registered card. He has Buckley's for getting any compensation for cancellation of his implant Looking at the Yahoo7 video again I see that he implanted the chip in a fairly inconvenient location - the back of his left hand making his tap action quite unergonomic at gates.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:12 am

This guy has the right idea. Why don't they make Opal available in a wrist band you can wear, then you can have the same convenience without the health risks? There is no functional/operational requirement for it to be a card of this nature. Less chance of losing it, too. Would save the time wasted while people hunt through their purse/handbag/wallet trying to find it every time they get on/off a bus or pass through a gate.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Aurora » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:32 am

Passenger 57 wrote:
Aurora wrote:Rail replacement buses ARE free, on the provision you have a valid OPAL Card on you.

Care to point to the relevant legislation? In the past you would have needed a valid ticket to travel on a rail replacement bus and I suspect that is probably still technically true but not enforcable. Opal only constitutes a valid ticket for travel if you tap on. Really, the advent of Opal has made it impossible to have the same degree of revenue protection on rail replacement services if it ever was an option before.

You are correct, on the old system, you needed to purchase a ticket.

With OPAL fully deployed, provided you have a valid OPAL Card on you, you have an intention to tap on. Trackwork replacement buses either have their readers closed or none installed, you simply need to provide an intention to tap on, hence a valid OPAL Card.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:19 am

Passenger 57 wrote:So TfNSW finally managed to cancel the unregistered implant.That seems like it might potentially prejudice their current court proceedings against him for traveling without a valid ticket so I suspect its an indication that they'll drop the proceedings which aren't really in their interest.


The terms of use clearly state they can cancel/confiscate cards that have been tampered with. Removing the MiFare chip and loop and implanting it in your body is a pretty significant bit of tampering.

It's going to come down to if physical tampering to change the form factor of the token should be treated differently from software tampering with intent to defraud. This guy had no intention to defraud, so....
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:29 pm

Would have thought no tampering is pretty black and white, it's not no altering the functionality.

May get the fine for an individual trip waived, but I doubt they'll require the chip credentials to be reactivated
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:35 pm

The only mistake he made was appearing on television about it instead of being discrete.
People would have latched on eventually though, seeing this guy activate the readers without a card in his hand.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:39 am

matthewg wrote:The terms of use clearly state they can cancel/confiscate cards that have been tampered with. Removing the MiFare chip and loop and implanting it in your body is a pretty significant bit of tampering.

No argument there, but given the (remnant of the) card and its electronic state at the time of the alleged offence may be relevant evidence in the trial it doesn't pass the sniff test. This might provide the opportunity for the defence to mount the spurious arguments of evidence tampering and obstruction of justice or more simply argue that the belated cancellation of the card proves that the card was valid at the time of the alleged offence.

It's going to come down to if physical tampering to change the form factor of the token should be treated differently from software tampering with intent to defraud. This guy had no intention to defraud, so....

It will likely be thrown out of court if it proceeds. Yes, the ticket was mutilated but not in a matter the prevented its effective processing - assuming the prosecution cannot prove the the card was not tapped on.

moa999 wrote:Would have thought no tampering is pretty black and white, it's not no altering the functionality.

The case is about whether he had a valid ticket. The ticket is held in electronic form. Altering the container of the ticket does not alter the validity of the ticket, If they wanted to prosecute they should have tried to get him on something else like refusing to surrender his Opal card.

moa999 wrote:but I doubt they'll require the chip credentials to be reactivated

I don't know whether the magistrate can rule over that. That is probably a civil matter and clearly he as broken the terms of use. It may not be technically possible to reactivate a disabled "card". Deactivation may be implemented in such a way to be irreversible. This seems to be the case with SIM cards.

He also had a registered Opal card cancelled earlier which he should receive compensation for as it was improperly cancelled on the assumption it was the implant.
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