Opal Discussion and Observations

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion
moa999
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by moa999 »

7News piece today that there are now 14 million dormant Opal cards with a value of about $80m (average $5.70 per card).

About 2 dormant cards for everyone in the Opal area i suspect.. way more than I'd thought.

(And I wonder if this has deducted the negative balance cards from the former airport loophole)

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boronia
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boronia »

I'll bet the report didn't mention that fares only recover about 30% of the cost of providing the service, and that $5.70 is about the cost of one average train trip.
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Bus 400
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Bus 400 »

This is a bit of an old article, but it looks like this might of been missed.

Next Generation Ticket Technology Trial Comes To Our Region

05 Mar 2019

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today announced that a regional and rural trial of next generation ticketing has seen the introduction of upgraded Opal technology and State of the art real-time passenger information on selected buses.

Mr Ward announced that 120 local high school students from Corpus Christi and St Joseph’s High Schools are using Opal reader technology to tap on and off their school buses.

“This trial will provide new insights into how regional and rural customers use public transport and help with capacity planning,” he said.

“The introduction of the Opal card in 2012 has given us more insight into the way customers travel. We’ve been able to use this data to ensure we deliver services when and where they are needed.

“The new system also allows information about Kiama Coaches to go into customer trip planning applications such as the Trip Planner on www.transportnsw.info and Trip View, which is something that was previously only available for city transport services.

“The ground breaking technology will be a huge benefit to our local community.

“This technology will help bring our community services in line with the standards we see in the city, making it easier for both locals and tourists to travel on public transport.

“Transport for NSW is also working with Kiama Coaches on a ticketing trial for later this year that will allow customers to pay for their travel using contactless cards rather than traditional cash.

“Customers on regular routes will be able to pay their fare using their debit card or their credit card.  This will make it much easier for infrequent users of public transport in the area to catch a bus,” Mr Ward concluded.

https://www.garethwardmp.com.au/next_ge ... our_region
The OpalPay screens can apparently be used for school pases, but not Kiama Buses fares. In the TfNSW GTFS (real time) data, bus real time is Kiama Buses & Ulladulla Buslines. So they must be the other operator trialing this technology.

The bus driver I was enquiring about this did mention TfNSW peeps pulling the buses location up on their laptop inside the bus.



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Fleet Lists
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Fleet Lists »

Interesting reading but somewhat confusing in some areas such as the Trip finder information which has been available for all regional buses for at least three years so nothing new there as far as Kiama is concerned.

There has been nothing announced officially as far the Opal information is concerned but I am not surprised as it is something which needs to be introduced especial in such areas as Kiama where you can use Opal for trains but not buses. Ulladulla is a bit different as there are no trains down there.

All timetable URL's on Transport Info have a two digit prefix which as far as Syney and surrounds is concerned, relate to the region in which the route operates but regionally there have only been three 06 North, 07 West and 08 North for buses but on 1 January this year Kiama and Ulladulla routes started to use a previously unused code 25 which may something to do with these trials.
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1whoknows
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by 1whoknows »

Many of the 14 million dormant opal cards will be those purchased and used by visiting tourists who have since left the country with a dollar or two left on the card.
Or from people like myself who live interstate but have a card for use when visiting. One suspects that many of those would have enough left on them to cover at least the first airport-city trip.
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boronia
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boronia »

I often find cards just abandoned around stations with a couple of dollars on them.

I wonder if the AirportLink operator gets full reimbursement from TfNSW/Opal for the shortages in gate fees?
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Mike M
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Mike M »

boronia wrote:I often find cards just abandoned around stations with a couple of dollars on them.

I wonder if the AirportLink operator gets full reimbursement from TfNSW/Opal for the shortages in gate fees?
There are no shortages in gate fees now as you cannot get through the barriers at the Airport station if your card will go into a negative balance. For that reason Opal top up machines are now also located inside the barriers.

The fact that NSW doesn't charge a fee for a new card encourages users to dump old cards & just get a new one when & if required.

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boronia
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boronia »

If the average family is like mine, they are forever "losing" them at home or going out without one, so the quickest solution is to get a new one. We alone would make a significant contribution to the shortfall LOL.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Fleet Lists »

Jurassic_Joke wrote:Yeah I am certain that the Opal website its on its way to slowly but surely die the same way the Sydney Trains website did. The news section is empty except for literal encouragment that you just go to transportnsw.info, if you click Opal Fares they also then say the information you want to know is at transportnsw.info....

Might be a few months (or more/less) early but was nice knowing you, Opal website. You did well assisting Opal's publicity in the early days, with an easy interface and overall had a good run.
The opal website is down this morning but not redirecting which I thought it would do once it is taken down.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Fleet Lists »

It is back now.
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andyr
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by andyr »

moa999 wrote:7News piece today that there are now 14 million dormant Opal cards with a value of about $80m (average $5.70 per card).

About 2 dormant cards for everyone in the Opal area i suspect.. way more than I'd thought.

(And I wonder if this has deducted the negative balance cards from the former airport loophole)
what do they define as "dormant" ??? Of the 5 cards in this household, only one is used daily - the one I use to get to and from work everyday. The other four (sitting with a combined total of about $65 on them) we only use if we go somewhere as a family on the weekend, for example. Last time they were used was about 4 months ago from memory.

Must have been another slow news day on Ch7. :D :D

matthewg
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by matthewg »

boronia wrote:I often find cards just abandoned around stations with a couple of dollars on them.
So do I. I've got 5 lost cards on my desk at home and a couple at work. I found some unregistered cards with more than $5 on them, I've given them to foreign visitors at work.

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boronia
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boronia »

Also, a lot of people who only travel occasionally, but don't live near retail centres, have been forced to buy cards with a minimum balance.

I wonder how long it takes for a card to be deemed "dormant"?
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Jurassic_Joke
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Jurassic_Joke »

In what I think is an oversight, if you use contactless on a bus, the sound from the reader is the distinct lower pitched sound you'd hear from a child/concession/seniors Opal Card rather than the usual Adult sound. I think its actually nicer.

I guess in theory it doesn't really matter though, factoring in transits don't really stand by bus doors looking for Concessions to check, as they do at train gates

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

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Added to contactless today in the reference article on Transport for NSW

Transdev NSW Bankstown, Hurstville and Miranda Region 10
Southern Sydney bus services including Bankstown, Bundeena, Menai, Revesby, South Granville, Taren Point and Kingsgrove

Transdev NSW upper north shore Region 12
Upper North Shore bus services including Berowra, Hornsby and Gordon areas.
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boronia
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boronia »

Jurassic_Joke wrote:In what I think is an oversight, if you use contactless on a bus, the sound from the reader is the distinct lower pitched sound you'd hear from a child/concession/seniors Opal Card rather than the usual Adult sound. I think its actually nicer.

I guess in theory it doesn't really matter though, factoring in transits don't really stand by bus doors looking for Concessions to check, as they do at train gates
They often do look during on-bus checks
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by boxythingy »

boronia wrote:I often find cards just abandoned around stations with a couple of dollars on them.

I wonder if the AirportLink operator gets full reimbursement from TfNSW/Opal for the shortages in gate fees?
where?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by ScaniaGrenda »

Not sure if it's been mentioned anywhere but Hunter Valley Buses Thornton seems to be accepting contactless payments by debit / credit card now... little poster says it'll be available on all buses "soon" 7116 MO and 3610 MO were two buses I caught this morning with this poster on it.

Didn't try if it worked through as I don't really have a reason too unless I leave my concession card at home.

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

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Has not yet been reported by Transport Info in https://transportnsw.info/news/2019/con ... s#homepage but possibly by the time you read this, it may have been done.

It may be one for official starting next Monday.
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BAMBAM
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by BAMBAM »

Are confirmation to the rumor that rail replacement buses are now opal enabled and required to tap on now?

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

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This would stop operators like Telfords and Hopkinsons who until recently have been regular rail replacement operators. I do know that Telfords who have regularly been on T4 replacement services were not seen when the T4 was closed to Cronulla a few weeks ago.
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Gusbus
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by Gusbus »

Opal was activated on all STA buses operating ESR replacement routes, for the first time this weekend. The buses were configured to charge rail fares. However contactless is not yet accepted on STA buses, so it was Opal cards only.

I understand Sydney Trains/TfNSW would like to roll this out across all replacement operators. Sydney Trains are aware of the issue surrounding subcontractors and long distance coaches, but who knows what will be their solution!
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BeauGiles
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by BeauGiles »

A 'benefit' of the Opal readers being active is that you can finally track them in real time - https://twitter.com/jxeeno/status/1167640620581584897
BAMBAM wrote:Are confirmation to the rumor that rail replacement buses are now opal enabled and required to tap on now?
You've always been 'supposed' to tap on wherever you could - from opal.com.au as far back as 2014;
If a replacement bus is not enabled for Opal, you should show your Opal card to the driver when boarding
In 2015 it was updated to
Customers travelling on a replacement bus service must tap on and tap off where available. Otherwise present your Opal card to the bus driver when boarding.
In December 2018 (before most of the content was removed from opal.com.au and the key bits moved to transportnsw.info)
Customers travelling on a train or ferry replacement bus service must tap on and tap off to pay the fare for the distance travelled. If the replacement bus is not Opal enabled, simply show your Opal card to the driver when boarding and no fare will be charged for that trip.
The current wording (at least today, September 2019) uses 'may' on transportnsw.info
You may not need to tap on or tap off from a replacement bus service, however you must still carry a valid ticket. Please have your Opal card, contactless payment card, or Opal single trip ticket before boarding. Fines apply if you travel without a valid ticket.
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mandonov
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by mandonov »

I wonder if it would be worthwhile for Cubic or whomever to develop a portable reader that includes all the gps equipment etc..

stupid_girl
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Post by stupid_girl »

mandonov wrote:I wonder if it would be worthwhile for Cubic or whomever to develop a portable reader that includes all the gps equipment etc..
I think the revenue forgone would be much less than the development and maintenance cost...especially on Sunday.

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