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Opal Card Fare Issues

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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby matthewg » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:20 am

CCCC wrote:So am I going to come unstuck with this card when it gets checked by an inspector. ????


The inspectors won't check or care what the balance is or what the last fare charged was. All they will care about is they get a 'trip in progress' 'tapped on' message on their Opal checker to indicate that you are correctly tapped on.

I once got checked as I stepped off a bus. They were looking at the last transaction time and route number and I presume checking it matched with the vehicle I just got off. I asked what they could see and was told the time and route number of the bus I'd just alighted from.

As near as I can determine. Opal has had remarkably few logic errors that resulted in incorrect fares, most of the reported errors are either misuse or faulty equipment and are usually 'open trips' were a tap off is missing. I'm finding it hard to think of any case where the card/equipment was working properly and the card used properly where it the fare charged was outright wrong.
(I don't count GPS failures on the buses as a logic error - that's a hardware issue and usually resulted in undercharging not overcharging)
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby simonl » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:17 am

Yeah, although cubic have had quite a few goes at this and what has been done isn't much different to other attempts.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby boronia » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:34 pm

[quote="matthewg(I don't count GPS failures on the buses as a logic error - that's a hardware issue and usually resulted in undercharging not overcharging)[/quote]
I got an overcharge a while ago from this problem..I caught a bus from Kensington to Central, but it recorded me tapping on at Little Bay and charged a band 3 fare.

I reported it, and got an adjustment without any fuss. Funny part was I have a Gold card, and my travels for the day well exceeded to $2.50 cap; but the adjustment was applied to the cap, so I had a cheap day of travel.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby CCCC » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:58 pm

matthewg wrote:
CCCC wrote:So am I going to come unstuck with this card when it gets checked by an inspector. ????


The inspectors won't check or care what the balance is or what the last fare charged was. All they will care about is they get a 'trip in progress' 'tapped on' message on their Opal checker to indicate that you are correctly tapped on.

I once got checked as I stepped off a bus. They were looking at the last transaction time and route number and I presume checking it matched with the vehicle I just got off. I asked what they could see and was told the time and route number of the bus I'd just alighted from.

As near as I can determine. Opal has had remarkably few logic errors that resulted in incorrect fares, most of the reported errors are either misuse or faulty equipment and are usually 'open trips' were a tap off is missing. I'm finding it hard to think of any case where the card/equipment was working properly and the card used properly where it the fare charged was outright wrong.
(I don't count GPS failures on the buses as a logic error - that's a hardware issue and usually resulted in undercharging not overcharging)


I don't use it very often , strange thing is I don't even recall putting that much money on the card , I have only topped it up three or four times from memory with $10 each time, I only use the train maybe 4 times a year.
Will see what happens next time .
Previously to this I kept getting an error message and the tap on off machine would make a different noise to the exceptance one.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby pgt » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:54 pm

An odd one I had the other Sunday on the Opal card - it does give me an idea of how they work out the bus to bus transfer distance though.

Since I'd missed the city bound bus at Gore Hill, I took a bus towards Lane Cove (route 254) to then change to a 292 freeway bus to the city, after which I had to get a train from Wynyard to Newtown.

It seemed odd when I tapped off the 292 bus at Wynyard that I was not charged any extra fare ($1.05 was deducted for the original 254 bus trip, having reached the weekly reward).
Looking at the online account, it showed the 254 trip was from McMahons Point to McMahons Point, but the 292 trip was from Lane Cove to Wynyard.

I know the method of calculation for distance for bus-bus transfers is from the origin, but would have thought it'd take into account the fact my transfer trip was more than 3km away - guess it doesn't.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby Passenger 57 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:45 am

Thanks for that. There was a uncorroborated report on Whirlpool some time back that the method for bus fare distance calculation had changed to the maximum of either one of the component trip distances or the journey distance. Since Lane Cove to Wynyard is more than 3km your report contradicts that. In the normal case of events you are effectively charged for distance not travelled, i.e. the distance between transfer points, because, it seems, all but the first origin points are ignored. In other words, you can end up paying the maximum fare for 2 very short bus trips simply because the end point of the 2nd trip is more than 8kms from the origin of your journey.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby simonl » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:20 pm

pgt wrote:An odd one I had the other Sunday on the Opal card - it does give me an idea of how they work out the bus to bus transfer distance though.

Since I'd missed the city bound bus at Gore Hill, I took a bus towards Lane Cove (route 254) to then change to a 292 freeway bus to the city, after which I had to get a train from Wynyard to Newtown.

It seemed odd when I tapped off the 292 bus at Wynyard that I was not charged any extra fare ($1.05 was deducted for the original 254 bus trip, having reached the weekly reward).
Looking at the online account, it showed the 254 trip was from McMahons Point to McMahons Point, but the 292 trip was from Lane Cove to Wynyard.

I know the method of calculation for distance for bus-bus transfers is from the origin, but would have thought it'd take into account the fact my transfer trip was more than 3km away - guess it doesn't.

Sounds like the gps of the first bus wasn't working and tapped you on at its origin, assuming that the 254 starts at McMahon's point (which it does /edit).
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After the 8th trip, half fare of ticket type or full fare?

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:10 am

From the 9th trip, for ticket types (eg: concession, pensioner etc), is it half fare of the ticket type (ie: concession, pensioer, etc) OR half full adult fare?
Last edited by Newcastle Flyer on Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby boronia » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:40 am

It should be half the applicable fare for the card; same as the transfer rebate is only $1 for concessions.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:14 am

If that's the case, it maybe another overcharging of almost 2/3rds - (65.6%).
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Please explain - I dont understand that statement. Boronia is quite correct and that is how it is working.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby Glen » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:33 pm

I did a short bus trip in Castle Hill the other day and when tapping off the machine gave an error message like 'already tapped off'. When I checked the Opal account it said I had tapped on at Sam Johnson Way, Lane Cove, many kilometres away.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby simonl » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:36 pm

Glen wrote:I did a short bus trip in Castle Hill the other day and when tapping off the machine gave an error message like 'already tapped off'. When I checked the Opal account it said I had tapped on at Sam Johnson Way, Lane Cove, many kilometres away.

That would be a GPS failure.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:09 pm

Not much news at Ch9.

2-minute piece on getting people to check their Opal cards because they have been ripped off.
Interview with an Accountant claiming he should have got 30% off his journeys to work because they weren't running a full timetable.

Have December fares ever been discounted??

Frankly should be paying more - I suspect cost recovery on most lines drops over the holiday period.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby pgt » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:00 pm

moa999 wrote:Have December fares ever been discounted??

Frankly should be paying more - I suspect cost recovery on most lines drops over the holiday period.
Something tells me that long before MyZone (or possibly even into the MyZone era) the railways did indeed charge off-peak fares during the Christmas/New Year period.
In later years I had to buy multi-mode tickets (TravelPass/MyZone Weekly) anyway to get to work in this period, so couldn't remember when it was as such.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Stu » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:13 pm

moa999 wrote:Not much news at Ch9.

2-minute piece on getting people to check their Opal cards because they have been ripped off.
Interview with an Accountant claiming he should have got 30% off his journeys to work because they weren't running a full timetable.

Have December fares ever been discounted??

Frankly should be paying more - I suspect cost recovery on most lines drops over the holiday period.


Is the accountant upset that he has to rise a little earlier in the morning to catch the bus due a small number of peak hour trips being suspended during the Christmas and NY period? He needs to do some home work. For example, there are a number of X15 & X18 services that are modified to operate as 515 and 518 all stops services respectively, so they are not really suspended at all. Also, the number of additional services put on during the Christmas sales period, Carols In The Domain, relevant Public Holidays and especially NYE far outweighs the minimal amount of services suspended over the Christmas NY period.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:12 am

moa999 wrote:Not much news at Ch9.

2-minute piece on getting people to check their Opal cards because they have been ripped off.


The media keep running these stories - but I've never actually seen a case on the various forums that is a confirmed case of a logic error in Opal. Overcharges are nearly always people forgetting to tap-off, with the next largest source of error (that usually results in undercharging) 'localization' (GPS) failures on the buses.

Now some people may not agree with the fare calculation logic, but that's not an error as such, that a disagreement over fare policy.


I've found a presentation error on the Opal website though. The fares are correct, but the way it's presented is inconsistent.
When in Travel Reward time and you do a transfer (bus or rail) that results in an additional fare, instead of showing the full fare and the discount in the next column as it does for single-trip journeys, it shows the discounted fare in the fare column with a discount of $0. The half fare is charged, but it doesn't indicate that this was a discounted trip like is does for the other entries.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:10 am

matthewg wrote:
The media keep running these stories - but I've never actually seen a case on the various forums that is a confirmed case of a logic error in Opal. Overcharges are nearly always people forgetting to tap-off, with the next largest source of error (that usually results in undercharging) 'localization' (GPS) failures on the buses.


I dont think that is the sort of overcharging he is referring to. He complains that he is not being charged a lower fare than the normal fare because there are less services.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:41 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:I dont think that is the sort of overcharging he is referring to. He complains that he is not being charged a lower fare than the normal fare because there are less services.


So, it's a 'I don't agree with the fare policy' story, not that a 'coding or logic error' over charged me story.

As far as I'm concerned Opal does have major flaws - politically driven deliberate flaws. I see no reason why a colleague who chooses to live out in the never-never gets to benefit from a weekly cap on his commute fares and I don't because I happen to have chosen to live only 13km from my work instead of over 100km.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:41 pm

On your first point = yes that is definitely so.

And on the other, no fare system is ever totally fair to everyone.

This discussion has been moved to the fare issue thread.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Passenger 57 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:39 pm

moa999 wrote:Frankly should be paying more - I suspect cost recovery on most lines drops over the holiday period.


The accountant is merely demanding something what would likely be the case if fare pricing was completely consistent with IPART dogma. However, as an accountant he should also be expected to realise any additional discount needs to be paid for.

Of course, if he is "lucky" enough to be the victim of a complete Bus-titution he wouldn't need to pay a fare at all. Given that Opal does support a rail mode (for Newcastle) buses and that perhaps the majority of substitute buses would have Opal readers it would seem to be high time to collect fares on rail replacement services. It would really suck though to pay a rail peak pricing and only get a bus. I wonder if we will see any further (multi-modal) fare integration in the future besides the "(CSELR) light rail stops being a ferry and becomes a bus" change mooted for when the CSELR opens.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Liamena » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:05 am

When I look up the train fare from Mascot station to the airport, it is like $7.98. Is this correct ?

Instead of paying like $18 to travel to the airport, can I pay about $4 to go to Mascot station, walk out then back in again, and pay $7.98 to travel from there to the airport ?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:46 am

That's what comes up in the fare calculator.

You can only try it, if it is wrong you can walk outside and catch the 400.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:53 am

Liamena wrote:When I look up the train fare from Mascot station to the airport, it is like $7.98. Is this correct ?

Instead of paying like $18 to travel to the airport, can I pay about $4 to go to Mascot station, walk out then...


Walk around the corner and catch the 400 bus the rest of the way for 10c extra. ($2.10 bus fare - $2 transfer rebate)
The traffic can be diabolical around the airport so expect the bus to take a while.
Those travelling light could even walk from Mascot station to Domestic. Probably quicker than the bus given the usual traffic snarls in the area!

There does appear to be an airport station access fee discount if you travel to the airport from Mascot station, but it may not activate if you are a transfer into Mascot station and not a journey origin.
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Re: Opal Card Fare Issues

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:16 pm

When tapping on or off at Sydney Domestic or International Airport stations, there is a station access fee of $13.40 for adult cardholders or $12.00 for other cardholders.[62] However, for travel between the two airport stations, a discounted station access fee for all card types of $2.00 applies, and for travel between either airport station and Green Square or Mascot, a fee of $5.40 applies

From Wiki.

It would be interesting to see when the system combines the two trips into the one journey, it recognises that the trip started at other than at Mascot and hence charge the higher fee or whether it charges the lower fee on the basis that the latest trip and not the journey started at Mascot.

So as someone has suggested someone should try it to see how it works,
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