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Introducing OPAL Card

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Linto63 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:39 pm

Rumour has it that TfNSW have advised the industry that all rail replacement buses must be Opal equipped from November, no exceptions. Given that many of the buses and most, if not all, coaches that operate these aren't fitted, don't know what the plan is. Will somewhat reduce the pool of available vehicles if a retrofit programme isn't conducted.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:12 pm

So this will mean tap on and off rail replacement bus services as standard then? Will it automatically calculate as though the passengers got on a train instead of charging separate bus rates?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby stupid_girl » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:05 pm

Swift wrote:So this will mean tap on and off rail replacement bus services as standard then? Will it automatically calculate as though the passengers got on a train instead of charging separate bus rates?

I think the arrangement will be similar to that in Newcastle.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby jpp42 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:10 am

Does this only apply to suburban services? As I'd assume the use of coaches for intercity services should continue.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Linto63 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:38 am

I did hear it also applied to NSW TrainLink services. Apparently several operators were quick to advise TfNSW of the shortcomings in their proposal, what comes of these we will have to wait and see I guess.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:07 pm

Some sneaky well above 2.2% fare increases for those going to/from Sydney airport, particularly in the Weekly Caps which will hit airport workers.

Adult Gate Fee 13.80 14.30 3.6%
Adult Weekly Cap 23.00 29.00 26.1%
Concession Gate Fee 12.40 12.80 3.2%
Concession Weekly Cap 20.50 26.00 26.8%
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:08 pm

[retracted]
Last edited by Jurassic_Joke on Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:59 pm

moa999 wrote:Some sneaky well above 2.2% fare increases for those going to/from Sydney airport, particularly in the Weekly Caps which will hit airport workers.

Adult Gate Fee 13.80 14.30 3.6%
Adult Weekly Cap 23.00 29.00 26.1%
Concession Gate Fee 12.40 12.80 3.2%
Concession Weekly Cap 20.50 26.00 26.8%


Those increases were actually made earlier this year in March. Someone called them out on Twitter but was ignored: https://twitter.com/jody20913212/status ... 3899202560
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:04 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:
moa999 wrote:Some sneaky well above 2.2% fare increases for those going to/from Sydney airport, particularly in the Weekly Caps which will hit airport workers.

Adult Gate Fee 13.80 14.30 3.6%
Adult Weekly Cap 23.00 29.00 26.1%
Concession Gate Fee 12.40 12.80 3.2%
Concession Weekly Cap 20.50 26.00 26.8%


Those increases were actually made earlier this year in March. Someone called them out on Twitter but was ignored: https://twitter.com/jody20913212/status ... 3899202560
Interesting. Out of cycle then.
Only noticed when I went to update the Wikipedia tables.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boxythingy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:44 pm

Linto63 wrote:I did hear it also applied to NSW TrainLink services. Apparently several operators were quick to advise TfNSW of the shortcomings in their proposal, what comes of these we will have to wait and see I guess.


Considering that Trackwork buses have never charged anything, I propose the best and most flexible implementation of charging people for a substandard/severely undermined service in lieu of a normally functioning Rail service (due to maintenance not carried out during non-service times) is Opalpay. The rate shall be the 0-3km bus concession fare considering that trips made through Opalpay do not contribute to the Opal Weekly, Daily or Sunday Caps.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:59 pm

Fleet Lists quoting TfNSW PR wrote:The Inner West On Demand bus service is the first On Demand service to offer OpalPay

More proof along with the freezing of the transfer rebate that TfNSW just doesn't get the benefits of fare integration.

I'd like to think this means that on-demand services are considered some sort of premium service and that scheduled route services are safe from being replaced by on-demand services but normal logic doesn't apply with TfNSW.

To use Inner West On Demand public transport services, you book and select ‘OpalPay’ via the BRIDJ app. When boarding, show your boarding pass to the driver. You can then tap to pay with your Opal card on the operator’s payment device. You will not need to tap off.

Unless one is required to enter one's Opal card number in the app and it is verified it appears that people who select OpalPay payment will not be penalised for not showing up.

I doubt there is very much demand amongst consumers (rather than drivers) for OpalPay here. Opal yes, bank payment cards yes, cash yes, OpalPay no. Not that boarding time is significant on a low capacity service but If anything OpalPay will slow down boarding albeit marginally compared to the other mechanisms available today on trials apart from maybe cash but internet only bookings will exclude people that telephone/cash does not and the requirement to produce a "boarding pass" will also slow down things if enforced.

With OpalPay available on the Inner West On Demand public transport services, each customer must book separately and use their own Opal card.

That makes no sense whatsoever with OpalPay.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:24 pm

moa999 on gate fees wrote:Interesting. Out of cycle then.
Only noticed when I went to update the Wikipedia tables.

It was the Opal fare cycle that shifted to mid-year. The Airport gate fees have maintained their normal cycle which seems to be somewhat later than the previous January increase for other public transport fares and seems to be unannounced in recent years. The Manly Fast Ferry still has a beginning of year increase and they took opportunity to differentially increase their casual ticket price to align it with the increased OpalPay price and remove time of day pricing.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:34 pm

boxythingy wrote:Considering that Trackwork buses have never charged anything, I propose the best and most flexible implementation of charging people for a substandard/severely undermined service in lieu of a normally functioning Rail service (due to maintenance not carried out during non-service times) is Opalpay.

That penalises people transferring from other services. Track bus or not, Opal benefits need to apply wherever Opal is used. Any compensation from a sub-standard service could be credited to peoples cards via the backend should TfNSW choose to pay compensation (ha). The Newcastle rail replacement method is probably the most sensible one though fares could be capped at the maximum rate for buses (travel over 8km) with a modicum of additional effort.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Aurora » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:39 pm

boxythingy wrote:Considering that Trackwork buses have never charged anything, I propose the best and most flexible implementation of charging people for a substandard/severely undermined service in lieu of a normally functioning Rail service (due to maintenance not carried out during non-service times) is Opalpay.

Incorrect, you always needed a paper ticket to use rail replacement buses before OPAL. Even now, without a valid OPAL Card physically on you, you need a ticket. The fact the enforcement has been very lax does not mean "never charged anything".
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Frosty » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Aurora wrote:Incorrect, you always needed a paper ticket to use rail replacement buses before OPAL. Even now, without a valid OPAL Card physically on you, you need a ticket. The fact the enforcement has been very lax does not mean "never charged anything".


Wasn't accepted practice because often stations would be closed so people weren't able to purchase tickets and to let people board buses without tickets.
But there is a question would be also would you open stations to enable customers to use Opal facilities. Also would you charge people the Airport Gate fee as well on Airport replacement buses otherwise most people would use Uber or drive.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Most stations are staffed normally (or perhaps reduced at larger stations) during rail replacements.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby marcnut1996 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:35 pm

I have noticed from the April media release about making Ryde depot Opal-only (https://transportnsw.info/news/2018/north-shore-north-west-buses-moving-to-opal-only-services), 530 was one of the routes to become Opal-only. From what I understand, it was afterwards operated by the then-STA Region 6 depots after the timetable change on 6 May, so does that mean 530 was Opal-only for only three weeks (16 April to 6 May)? A check on the Trip Planner does not indicate that TSS 530 is Opal-only. (edit: double negative removed, was a mistake)
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:01 pm

Funny, I was looking at that this morning also. Your double "not" in the last sentence has me confused. But yes I agree that it would only have been "Opal only" for that period of three weeks. And even during that time there was some confusion as trips operated by Region 6 during that time may also not have been Opal only.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby marcnut1996 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:15 pm

^My bad, I initally meant to write "Trip Planner shows that TSS is 530 not Opal-only", but realised that that is not exactly accurate, so I changed it to "does not indicate that TSS ....", but forgot to remove the second "not" in the process.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Stu » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:50 pm

marcnut1996 wrote:I have noticed from the April media release about making Ryde depot Opal-only (https://transportnsw.info/news/2018/north-shore-north-west-buses-moving-to-opal-only-services), 530 was one of the routes to become Opal-only. From what I understand, it was afterwards operated by the then-STA Region 6 depots after the timetable change on 6 May, so does that mean 530 was Opal-only for only three weeks (16 April to 6 May)? A check on the Trip Planner does not indicate that TSS 530 is Opal-only. (edit: double negative removed, was a mistake)


Region 7 is cashless although if an R7 service operates into another region of which are currently not 100% cashless then cash fares can be sold. The opposite happens when services operating from other regions into R7.
The separation (de-optimisation) of former STA operated R6 from the other STA regions does not mean that the route 530 has stopped operating as a cashless service between Tarban Creek and Chatswood. The de-optimisation may have had an affect of somekind of software/programming at Transpot Info.

I suspect that R6 will be a good candidate region to become cashless as there are now 4 x cashless metrobus routes that are all 100% operated by R6. Three cash/coin deposit machines were removed from Kingsgrove in May (one had already been defective for the past 2 x years), leaving only one in operation.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby stupid_girl » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:43 pm

Stu wrote:
marcnut1996 wrote:I have noticed from the April media release about making Ryde depot Opal-only (https://transportnsw.info/news/2018/north-shore-north-west-buses-moving-to-opal-only-services), 530 was one of the routes to become Opal-only. From what I understand, it was afterwards operated by the then-STA Region 6 depots after the timetable change on 6 May, so does that mean 530 was Opal-only for only three weeks (16 April to 6 May)? A check on the Trip Planner does not indicate that TSS 530 is Opal-only. (edit: double negative removed, was a mistake)


Region 7 is cashless although if an R7 service operates into another region of which are currently not 100% cashless then cash fares can be sold. The opposite happens when services operating from other regions into R7.
The separation (de-optimisation) of former STA operated R6 from the other STA regions does not mean that the route 530 has stopped operating as a cashless service between Tarban Creek and Chatswood. The de-optimisation may have had an affect of somekind of software/programming at Transpot Info.

I suspect that R6 will be a good candidate region to become cashless as there are now 4 x cashless metrobus routes that are all 100% operated by R6. Three cash/coin deposit machines were removed from Kingsgrove in May (one had already been defective for the past 2 x years), leaving only one in operation.

I heard that some drivers did not accept cash on routes N90 and N91 as they were operating from a cashless depot. Has it been rectified since then?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Stu » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:07 pm

^ I don't think that the relevant information regarding selling tickets on Night Ride services operating out of R7 was communicated at all to drivers, to my knowledge the only information/training provided was route directions (lefts & rights) and maps.

The only way this situation can be rectified is all drivers are given the relevant information: Night Ride services are not prepay, different opal fares apply and Night Ride services are on a separate contract.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby stupid_girl » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:51 pm

Should "Opal only" apply to an entire route rather than just a section?
R7 service that operates into another region will remain cashless.
For example, route 458 is Opal only at Burwood as shown.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby marcnut1996 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:03 pm

I believe that any R7 service that uses Ryde depot bus will be cashless in the entire route. Otherwise if the R7 service uses Willoughby, I believe it still accepts cash, even within R7.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Stu » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:16 pm

Every single route attached to STA Region 7 is cashless when inside Region 7, so that includes both Ryde Depot and Willoughby depot, the list of routes includes Willoughby depot routes.

If the specified routes were to operate cashless services from end-to-end, then the government would not have made a big deal stating 'Region 7' and instead would have stated that the following routes would operate cashless services from end-to-end regardless of which regions they operate from, towards or through.
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