Opal Card Roll-out

 
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Just for laughs, I used it on a Wynyard-Central trip today. The gate response time is rubbish. In the full second it takes for the gate to acknowledge that I've touched in/out, I have to stop, and that will have a severe effect on the flow through the ticket barriers.
Watson374
Hopefully this will improve - that is, in personal experience, the only let down of Myki in Melbourne (for me, as a casual user/tourist). It is slow to respond, and when you have peak hour passengers, they get backed up quickly.

Sponsored advertisement

  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Hopefully this will improve - that is, in personal experience, the only let down of Myki in Melbourne (for me, as a casual user/tourist). It is slow to respond, and when you have peak hour passengers, they get backed up quickly.
"Raichase"
I'm quite confident that this can be fixed up - my overseas experience suggests that most systems tend to operate much faster than ours does currently; hopefully, it can be, as an uninterrupted flow of passengers is extremely important.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'm quite confident that this can be fixed up - my overseas experience suggests that most systems tend to operate much faster than ours does currently; hopefully, it can be, as an uninterrupted flow of passengers is extremely important.
Watson374
Perhaps it's worth noting this as part of the trial? Provide feedback, don't assume they just "know". If enough people point it out, it might prompt them to re-examine the software used?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Perhaps it's worth noting this as part of the trial? Provide feedback, don't assume they just "know". If enough people point it out, it might prompt them to re-examine the software used?
"Raichase"
I really should - thanks for pointing it out.

EDIT(APPEND): Opal-activated stations are now indicated with the Opal logo on CityRail's online timetable viewer.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
One thing I haven't found on the Opal website is how the system will handle a fare which will place the Opal card into a negative balance, e.g. If I tag on at Central (i) with a balance of $4.00 and travel to Katoomba (when the system is fully enabled), which has a fare of $8.10 - placing my Opal balance at ($4.10).

myki and Go get around this by having a purchase price and refundable deposit respectively to get the card, Opal doesn't.

Any ideas on what they will be doing?

Dave
  Brendan03 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Hopefully this will improve - that is, in personal experience, the only let down of Myki in Melbourne (for me, as a casual user/tourist). It is slow to respond, and when you have peak hour passengers, they get backed up quickly.
Raichase


While you are correct here, The speeds fluctuate with every software revision... not exactly ideal, but at the same time, after many years of the software not being fast enough, It has meant that major stations have had an 'overkill' of barriers, which in peak hour isn't overly bad thing, slow software or not.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
One thing I haven't found on the Opal website is how the system will handle a fare which will place the Opal card into a negative balance, e.g. If I tag on at Central (i) with a balance of $4.00 and travel to Katoomba (when the system is fully enabled), which has a fare of $8.10 - placing my Opal balance at ($4.10).

myki and Go get around this by having a purchase price and refundable deposit respectively to get the card, Opal doesn't.

Any ideas on what they will be doing?

Dave
thadocta
Commonsense would say having top up stations in the paid area (ie before you exit the station), I guess being common sense rules that out as a option Wink
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
myki and Go get around this by having a purchase price and refundable deposit respectively to get the card, Opal doesn't.
thadocta
I seem to recall that myki cards were free when new, perhaps Opal will do the same in good time - a $10 card?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
If I recall correctly, Singapore's ez-link card used to allow a negative balance once; after this, the card iwas essentially overdrawn and value had to be topped up. It's been superseded, I believe, by a warnings after the balance goes below a certain value, and there is now a minimum value to touch on.

This is what I remember, and I'll need to verify this after work.
  matthewg Train Controller

If I recall correctly, Singapore's ez-link card used to allow a negative balance once; after this, the card iwas essentially overdrawn and value had to be topped up. It's been superseded, I believe, by a warnings after the balance goes below a certain value, and there is now a minimum value to touch on.

This is what I remember, and I'll need to verify this after work.
Watson374
The original EZlink system had a 'deposit' value on the card, it may have been has high as $5, and while your balance could go negative, due to the 'deposit' value of the card, It wasn't worth ditching the negative card and just getting another as the 'card deposit' was more than you could send one negative.

Their new CEPAS system has no card deposit - they are basically giving the cards away free, so they are some what more strict with low balances.

The cards them selves cost the operator a dollar or two each depending on what version of the system they use and weather they use 'genuine' NXT MiFare cards or a clone, so they really don't want people chucking the things out.
  matthewg Train Controller

One thing I haven't found on the Opal website is how the system will handle a fare which will place the Opal card into a negative balance, e.g. If I tag on at Central (i) with a balance of $4.00 and travel to Katoomba (when the system is fully enabled), which has a fare of $8.10 - placing my Opal balance at ($4.10).

myki and Go get around this by having a purchase price and refundable deposit respectively to get the card, Opal doesn't.

Any ideas on what they will be doing?

Dave
thadocta

I would expect that once the system goes into 'production' instead of trial, to gain entry to a railway station your card balance will have to be more than the maximum fare. I actually expect they will round it up - if you don't have $10 credit, you won't be allowed to tag-on at a railway station. You may even get a message saying 'go to top up machine and try again'.

I think they are saving that one up, as there will be the inevitable howls of protect about it being unfair to low-incomer earners or the poor or something. (But the people making the most noise will not be in those groups I would expect).

But they have to do that, or have a card deposit, otherwise you open up a fraud loop hole for people to send their cards negative, ditch the card, and just get a new one. Also very wasteful of cards that cost approx $1 each.

I noticed with my own Opal, that a 'transaction' has been logged against the card for 'Auto top up configured' at the same time as I tagged on (to the Manly ferry). This was NOT the time I did this on-line. So they appear to have written the 'auto top up' status to the card. On the face of it, there is no reason for this information to be recorded on the card itself. It's purely a back office function.

Given the inherent delays in bank card processing, it would be very easy to find your Opal below $10 or even negative. It would not be 'good form' to reject the Opal of an auto-top up customer and tell them to go to a top-up machine. I suspect they are recording the status to the card to specifically allow the card balance to go negative, as they know, sooner or later, depending on your bank, they will get the money.

Even the minimum auto-top up amount is a bit low - some people don't like the idea of them taking the top at $40 at a time, but for me, my current weekly is $34. Once Opal is under way and I can no longer get my railway periodical, that would mean the auto-top up threshold would be triggering about once a week. Scale that up by the number of potential card users, and Opal's bank would go into 'meltdown' thinking they have a 'denial of service' attack against their settlement system Smile
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The original EZlink system had a 'deposit' value on the card, it may have been has high as $5, and while your balance could go negative, due to the 'deposit' value of the card, It wasn't worth ditching the negative card and just getting another as the 'card deposit' was more than you could send one negative.

Their new CEPAS system has no card deposit - they are basically giving the cards away free, so they are some what more strict with low balances.
"matthewg"
Yes - that's exactly it; I'd only just woken up, and I apologise for forgetting to mention the old deposit.
  Brendan03 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I seem to recall that myki cards were free when new, perhaps Opal will do the same in good time - a $10 card?
Raichase


Myki cards were free to those who registered online near the beginning of the Metropolitan roll out. Totally free. You registered a card and they sent it to you, no balance required. As such many people made them under stupid and novelty names.

Earlier on, During the regional trial, You could spend $3 for a Concession myki with $3 on it, $5 or $6, for a full-fare, with equivalent credit on it, if I remember correctly. (It was a long time ago, now!)
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I would expect that once the system goes into 'production' instead of trial, to gain entry to a railway station your card balance will have to be more than the maximum fare. I actually expect they will round it up - if you don't have $10 credit, you won't be allowed to tag-on at a railway station. You may even get a message saying 'go to top up machine and try again'.
matthewg
It would be a political minefield to adopt that course of action. There would be howls of protest about being unable to undertake a journey costing (as an example) $3.50 with a card balance of $5.00.

Dave
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

It would be a political minefield to adopt that course of action. There would be howls of protest about being unable to undertake a journey costing (as an example) $3.50 with a card balance of $5.00.

Dave
"thadocta"


There might be "howls of protest" from a few noisy people, but do u really think the government will care? They look like they want the majority to go for "auto top up" and I expect we will see incentives for people to sign on to auto top up.
If people complain about having to have a minimum of $5 or $10 dollars credit on the card they will just charge a deposit fee for the card to allow for negative balances, like in many other Australian and overseas citys that adopted this technology years ago.
  matthewg Train Controller

There might be "howls of protest" from a few noisy people, but do u really think the government will care? They look like they want the majority to go for "auto top up" and I expect we will see incentives for people to sign on to auto top up.
If people complain about having to have a minimum of $5 or $10 dollars credit on the card they will just charge a deposit fee for the card to allow for negative balances, like in many other Australian and overseas citys that adopted this technology years ago.
Airvan99

They either have to have a minimum balance that exceeds the maximum one way fare, or charge card deposit that's equivalent to the maximum one way fare.
Both approaches have been used in various other 'smart card' ticketing roll outs.

If you don't do one, you give people a method to rort the system that's near impossible to detect and stop.
And it's not just the fare evasion, it's the loss of the 'expensive' smart cards them selves.

The balance on the card will have to exceed the maximum fare. I suggested $10 simply as it's an easy to remember round up. (MyTrain single $8.40).  For the buses, round up to $5. (MyBus 3 single, $4.60)

Trying to get clever, and allowing say, tag on with a balance of $3 on bus that's with in 2 sections of it's terminus is just making the system too complicated.
Trains there is no way out of requiring a balance of at least $8.40 to allow entry to the 'paid area'.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Trying to get clever, and allowing say, tag on with a balance of $3 on bus that's with in 2 sections of it's terminus is just making the system too complicated.
"matthewg"
Agreed. The simpler the system, the better.

Trains there is no way out of requiring a balance of at least $8.40 to allow entry to the 'paid area'.
"matthewg"
Agreed.

I agree with thadocta insofar as it being unlikely to be popular, but this is both national and international standard practice. Frankly, I believe the howls of protest can be explained off.
  SydTrain1988 Beginner

Travelled from Waverton to City on Opal today Razz. This was successful and the correct fare of 2.31 was deducted.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I agree with thadocta insofar as it being unlikely to be popular, but this is both national and international standard practice. Frankly, I believe the howls of protest can be explained off.
Watson374
I thought the international standard was to have either a purchase price for the card (a la myki in Melbourne, although I got mine for free in the initial introduction) or a refundable deposit (a la Go in BrisVegas), neither of which is applicable with Opal.

Dave
  matthewg Train Controller

I thought the international standard was to have either a purchase price for the card (a la myki in Melbourne, although I got mine for free in the initial introduction) or a refundable deposit (a la Go in BrisVegas), neither of which is applicable with Opal.

Dave
thadocta
Singapore switched from a card 'deposit' to minimum balance. But their cards are more than public transport cards now, they can also be used to pay road tolls and parking. The toll roads had one system and the transit had another. The government there decided this was stupid so they created a new card that could do both. The PT side has fully transitioned to the new card, I don't know about the road tolling system.

While I think card deposit is the most popular option (as that can cover the actual cost of the card), both deposit and minimum balance systems exist.

But really at the end of the day, the deposit variation is just a 'hidden' minimum balance.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Travelled from Waverton to City on Opal today Razz. This was successful and the correct fare of 2.31 was deducted.
SydTrain1988
Say what?  You mean you just got on at Waverton and touched off at some fare gates in the city and they just opened after deducting the minimum fare?  Ouch.
  matthewg Train Controller

Say what?  You mean you just got on at Waverton and touched off at some fare gates in the city and they just opened after deducting the minimum fare?  Ouch.
simonl
Waverton has a working Opal pole. Been working for at least a week, probably more. They must have connected it up to do some testing and never took it offline afterwards.

So the system did what it was expected to do, although given that the lower North Shore isn't officially 'Opal enabled' yet, it could be argued that 'simonl' was fare evading, despite paying the correct Opal fare for the journey.

I doubt a ticket inspector would have been impressed had he been subject to an on-train ticket check.
  Keith1954 Junior Train Controller

Location: Macarthur
One thing I haven't found on the Opal website is how the system will handle a fare which will place the Opal card into a negative balance, e.g. If I tag on at Central (i) with a balance of $4.00 and travel to Katoomba (when the system is fully enabled), which has a fare of $8.10 - placing my Opal balance at ($4.10).

myki and Go get around this by having a purchase price and refundable deposit respectively to get the card, Opal doesn't.

Any ideas on what they will be doing?

Dave
thadocta

In Hong Kong you have to have a positive balance to enter a train station.  If your journey puts you into negative then have to "top it up" before your next journey.  
Buses are different as you pay the fare first, they appear to be flat rate regardless of the journey.  So you have to have enough credit to cover the fare.
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

I'm pretty new to this thread and sorry if this has been previously discussed.

Will the tourists really want some money for the card just to use it once or twice. I'm from Sydney and i when to Melbourne I kinda thought, what a waste of money. We can't return it to some collection and half the price back. If we could, it would be much better.

Silver S Set
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Will the tourists really want some money for the card just to use it once or twice. I'm from Sydney and i when to Melbourne I kinda thought, what a waste of money. We can't return it to some collection and half the price back. If we could, it would be much better.
"Silver S Set"
There may be temporary, disposable cards introduced for this purpose later on; in the meantime, you still have paper tickets.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: jpd, maestro, witsend, wurx

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.