Opal Card Roll-out

 
  Alfred3333 Locomotive Fireman

According to this, the physical installation on the Illawarra line has already been completed.
donttellmywife

Have the readers been uncovered or revealed yet?

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  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

Have the readers been uncovered or revealed yet?
"Alfred3333"


Another website, that has been covering it more extensively that this one, had all the Illawarra line stations completed and working last Wednesday, then the installers moved onto the Bankstown line.
  matthewg Train Controller

Another website, that has been covering it more extensively that this one, had all the Illawarra line stations completed and working last Wednesday, then the installers moved onto the Bankstown line.
Airvan99


The Illawarra line was completed by the end of the 1st week of February. The installers then moved onto the East Hills line not the Bankstown line.

As of the 20th of February, All of T2 EXCEPT for Glenfield and the Airport Link stations are completed. About half the Bankstown line has been done and at the rate they have been moving that will be done by the middle of next week. Looks like all Suburban Rail Opal will be done by the end of the month.

The Airport Link stations probably haven't been done so far as they are privately operated, so the Opal people probably have had to negotiate different work site access agreements. Also the station operators are paid on the basis of passengers through the stations so they probably don't want the gate lines disrupted when the station is open. If the gate line goes down, the operators lose real money.

There is track work on the East Hills line this weekend (22nd February) so the stations will be closed. The Opal people will probably then do the work this weekend when there are no station operations to disrupt.

Also since they started on the Western lines back in early January, the newly installed Opal readers have been left active and not closed when the installers leave - the only thing to stop you from using them is the black sticker saying 'under test'.

Some one has been plotting the Opal roll out on a Google Map -
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zpbk9N0JWG5w.kugydjzTYSpQ
  maestro Junior Train Controller

The local paper is getting a tad over-excited with the headline "Opal Card Rolled-out in Illawarra". Makes you think that it's in service already!
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2112790/opal-card-rolled-out-in-illawarra/?cs=300

Apparently all stations from North Wollongong to Port Kembla were to have the readers installed today. (I just walked past Lysaghts station, and it now has powered-up Opal readers with the "under test" sticker).

Hopefully they will use Friday's opening as a opportunity to tell us when the next lines will be activated.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
Hi all, I have a Photo of one of the readers at my Station of Riverwood

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32678796@N05/12826226823/in/photostream/- This one is still under Test, and cannot be used just yet, They look kind of funny, but if they do the Job, is all that matters

Kind Regards
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
The Illawarra line was completed by the end of the 1st week of February. The installers then moved onto the East Hills line not the Bankstown line.

As of the 20th of February, All of T2 EXCEPT for Glenfield and the Airport Link stations are completed. About half the Bankstown line has been done and at the rate they have been moving that will be done by the middle of next week. Looks like all Suburban Rail Opal will be done by the end of the month.

The Airport Link stations probably haven't been done so far as they are privately operated, so the Opal people probably have had to negotiate different work site access agreements. Also the station operators are paid on the basis of passengers through the stations so they probably don't want the gate lines disrupted when the station is open. If the gate line goes down, the operators lose real money.

There is track work on the East Hills line this weekend (22nd February) so the stations will be closed. The Opal people will probably then do the work this weekend when there are no station operations to disrupt.

Also since they started on the Western lines back in early January, the newly installed Opal readers have been left active and not closed when the installers leave - the only thing to stop you from using them is the black sticker saying 'under test'.

Some one has been plotting the Opal roll out on a Google Map -
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zpbk9N0JWG5w.kugydjzTYSpQ
matthewg


As long as the orange light is on (or alternating red/orange in the case of wide access gates), then they can be used stickers or not.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
As long as the orange light is on (or alternating red/orange in the case of wide access gates), then they can be used stickers or not.
Blackadder

If the line is not "Opal-enabled", then you would be travelling without a valid ticket, and can be fined accordingly (as long as they catch you before the train gets into the Opal area).

Dave
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Does anyone know how that beast known as the airrort (airport) gatepass is to be implemented?

For example, the system will let you tap on at any station with a credit left of say $15, but what will happen if you try to tap off at the airport and the total fare, which includes the gatepass fee, which will exceed the credit left over on your card.

Also, will the retailers at the airport put a surcharge on the cards? (like they do everything else)
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Does anyone know how that beast known as the airrort (airport) gatepass is to be implemented?

For example, the system will let you tap on at any station with a credit left of say $15, but what will happen if you try to tap off at the airport and the total fare, which includes the gatepass fee, which will exceed the credit left over on your card.
gmanning1

The same thing happens in Brisbane with Go! Card, You can theoretically tap on with 1c on your card, and tap off at the Airport, which will send your card into a negative balance. At least with Go! they have a $10 deposit on the card, which will ameliorate some (but not all) of that negative balance.

I am guessing that, after the initial roll-out, they will adopt something similar with Opal, i.e. put a deposit on the card, refundable if and when the card is returned.

I hope they don't do what Melbourne did with myki, and charge for the card (although I got mine when it was free).

Dave
  Goose Chief Train Controller

The Airport Link stations probably haven't been done so far as they are privately operated, so the Opal people probably have had to negotiate different work site access agreements. Also the station operators are paid on the basis of passengers through the stations so they probably don't want the gate lines disrupted when the station is open. If the gate line goes down, the operators lose real money.
matthewg

I would say that the Airport Link stations don't wan't the Opal card.

If you came to Sydney as a tourist would you buy one for one trip?

What would the cost to the city be?

I used to use public transport when visiting Melbourne, but not any more.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
Does anyone know how that beast known as the airrort (airport) gatepass is to be implemented?

For example, the system will let you tap on at any station with a credit left of say $15, but what will happen if you try to tap off at the airport and the total fare, which includes the gatepass fee, which will exceed the credit left over on your card.

Also, will the retailers at the airport put a surcharge on the cards? (like they do everything else)
gmanning1

I would imagine the same scenario as elsewhere on the Opal network, as long as you have the minimum to open the gates at your origin then away you go. When you get to the Domestic or International Terminal the fare is deducted and your card goes into a negative balance (or the auto top is triggered if set up).
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

The local paper is getting a tad over-excited with the headline "Opal Card Rolled-out in Illawarra". Makes you think that it's in service already!
maestro


we just got a small notice in the local before the switch on. this weeks paper nothing about opal.

but the west is open to opal on rail.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/100000-cards-registered-opal-rolls-out-120-train-stations
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I would say that the Airport Link stations don't wan't the Opal card.

If you came to Sydney as a tourist would you buy one for one trip?

What would the cost to the city be?

I used to use public transport when visiting Melbourne, but not any more.
Goose

Well, your user name is certainly appropriate.

You seriously think that the operators of the Airport stations don't want Opal functionality because of tourists?

What makes you think that the ONLY people using YSSY are inbound tourists? What about those who are greater-Sydney residents, using the airport? What about those who are not from Sydney, but fly in regularly (like I do with Melbourne and Brisbane, hence why I have a myki and a Go Card)? What about those employed at the airport?

As for your question: "If you came to Sydney as a tourist would you buy one for one trip?", at the moment, there is no charge for an Opal card, so they would not need to buy one, and if Sydney adopts the same model as Brisbane, then the cost will be refundable.

And do you seriously think that a tourist would be making just one trip? They will probably make multiple trips around town during their stay, and even if the same model as Melbourne was adopted, the savings over paper tickets would soon outweigh the cost of the card (this is why I always get a tourist Oyster card when in London, it saves a fortune, even though I am only there for a few days at a time on a month long vacation).

And I am glad you do not use public transport in Melbourne, the trains in the peaks are already too congested.

Dave
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
My experience with Opal so far (South line) has been good. I use rail often, but not every day and with a mix of peak and off-peak travel, so weekly (or greater) tickets were never attractive for me. On average it's costing me about 20 to 30% less to use Opal. Not sure how that will be affected when buses also come on line (although I don't use them much and current MyBus tickets suit me when I do). A great advantage is the $2.50 fare for all on Sundays. I was always miffed in the past at having to pay adult fare while surrounded by marauding family groups on a cheap day out.

One thing to note is that you can activate a reader easily if your card is in a wallet, but it does sometimes get confused by other adjacent smart cards. May display a 'use only one card'; confusingly sometimes immediately after it has just successfully tapped you on. Keep it separate from other smart cards and it works just fine. Very few using it as yet. As usage picks up I suspect there will be a 'jam' at some stations as lots try to tap off at just one or two post readers during PM peaks.

One for the ticket nazis. I did one journey from Lidcombe to Warwick farm via Birrong (just missed a South Line service and the next was one which required a change at Cabramatta onto a Bankstown Line service to stop at the Farm). Technically that's traveling using Opal mostly on a non-activeted line. However, the Fares Handbook regards it as a valid journey, the start and finish points were both activated, and I was charged the same for the journey.

As for the airport; can't really see a problem. Can't see why Opal can't be programmed to deduct the existing fare and credit the airport station operator accordingly. A nice touch would be a discounted fee for using Opal at the airport stations. $5 is enough to deter ferals from visiting the terminals for no good reason. The current fee is excessive, but so is everything else at the airport (and I'm a shareholder!).
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
One complication with the airport stations is that frequent users are able to effectively buy a weekly (or longer) gate pass that offers a substantial discount to the equivalent single gate pass.  This doesn't map well across to the model that Opal has used for fares for the rest of the network.  

The current gate pass fare arrangement effectively allows full cost charging of infrequent users (the vast majority of which will be people going to the airport to catch a plane) and maintains a considerable level of subsidy for frequent users (the vast majority of which will be employees going to work).  I can see some sense in this, and therefore can see some sense in allowing the arrangement to continue under Opal.

Options to do so could include retrospective application of a gate pass rebate (pay for the first two or three gate passes, get the rest in a week for free) or continued application of a periodical purchased in advance and loaded onto the card.

Periodical tickets impose what I see as a pointless restriction in flexibility on users - consequently the retrospective fix-up appeals more to me.

(Those who simply advocate removal of the gate pass in its entirety need to nominate the service cuts or general fare increases that they would apply in order to fund that removal.  Public transport funding doesn't grow on trees.)
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
One complication with the airport stations is that frequent users are able to effectively buy a weekly (or longer) gate pass that offers a substantial discount to the equivalent single gate pass. This doesn't map well across to the model that Opal has used for fares for the rest of the network.

The current gate pass fare arrangement effectively allows full cost charging of infrequent users (the vast majority of which will be people going to the airport to catch a plane) and maintains a considerable level of subsidy for frequent users (the vast majority of which will be employees going to work). I can see some sense in this, and therefore can see some sense in allowing the arrangement to continue under Opal.
donttellmywife

While this model seems to make sense, it seems that not many of the workers use it.  Apparently, 80% of them drive.

(Those who simply advocate removal of the gate pass in its entirety need to nominate the service cuts or general fare increases that they would apply in order to fund that removal. Public transport funding doesn't grow on trees.)
donttellmywife

That's simple enough. Just apply the full increase which IPART recommended.  Even better, bring back more equitable charges for long distance bus users.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
While this model seems to make sense, it seems that not many of the workers use it. Apparently, 80% of them drive.


That's simple enough. Just apply the full increase which IPART recommended. Even better, bring back more equitable charges for long distance bus users.
simonl

I suspect (I don't know) that proportion isn't too dissimilar to other non-cbd employment centres.  I'm sure that the higher fare dissuades some frequent users at the margin, but I suspect the usual stories of travel time and convenience are what drives that figure.

No complaint from me about your proposed fare increases, but note that "we are putting all fares/all long distance bus fares up so that airport users heading off for their business trip to Melbourne/holiday to Bali can get a cheaper rail ticket" may not be the easiest political sell.

(I'm still not an economist.)
  Goose Chief Train Controller

And do you seriously think that a tourist would be making just one trip?
thadocta

Yes.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Yes.
Goose

Can I have some of what you are taking, it must be really good stuff!

Dave
  Goose Chief Train Controller

Can I have some of what you are taking, it must be really good stuff!

Dave
thadocta

You see Dave a lot of people here have tunnel vision and only see things one way. Most people do not use rail when they are on holidays etc. I know very few that use it interstate or overseas. The people on this forum are interested in rail so it is not a clear representation of the average traveller. Most of my friends would use public transport less than a couple of times per year.

Opal cards are not really free.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
goose,  I rest my case about your username being highly appropriate.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
I suspect (I don't know) that proportion isn't too dissimilar to other non-cbd employment centres. I'm sure that the higher fare dissuades some frequent users at the margin, but I suspect the usual stories of travel time and convenience are what drives that figure.

No complaint from me about your proposed fare increases, but note that "we are putting all fares/all long distance bus fares up so that airport users heading off for their business trip to Melbourne/holiday to Bali can get a cheaper rail ticket" may not be the easiest political sell.

(I'm still not an economist.)
donttellmywife

Have a look at this post: http://chartingtransport.com/2012/10/26/how-did-sydney-get-to-work-in-2006/#comments

Some relevant bits are:

It’s not just the Sydney CBD that had reasonably high public transport mode share. Public transport mode share peaked in the centre of the following regional hubs:

  • North Sydney 53%

  • Bondi Junction: 41%

  • Parramatta: 38%

  • Chatswood: 35%

  • St Leonards: 34%







That post also included a detailed graph.

Not sure what you're counting as a non-cbd employment area.  Penrith?  I'm sure it's risen since 2006 too.

I agree about the political difficulties, but it could be spun.  "I don't think it's fair that we should profit from airport station users while other users only contribute 30% of the costs of their service and in many cases even less".
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I wasn't being precise.  Perhaps, after the fact, consider a zone where where parking is materially easier/cheaper than it would be in the centre of Sydney itself, and you don't have the typical breadth of converging public transport services.  Some of the counter examples you list show "CBD like" tendencies in terms of parking cost and connectivity.  There's a spectrum, and I'm not sure where the airport sits.

The weekly gate pass premium ($21) is considerably less than the staff parking charges (about $8 per day, if I understand correctly).  That weekly rate won't necessarily be relevant for casual or "away from home" staff (e.g. international flight crew), but in the latter case the per day parking charge continues to scale with time at work, while the gate pass cost doesn't.

Getting away from Opal here, but I'll posit that it would be more effective (in terms of dollars per journey that switched mode) when looking at employees using public transport to run additional "feeder" bus routes to the airport (increasing the connectivity), rather than reducing the weekly discount.  A bus service running transverse to the line could be argued to not be running in competition to the stations in the resulting good faith material event negotiations.

How about "one gate pass fee and then you get the rest of the week for nix"?  That still gives you a good chance of extracting full economic cost from aviation users, but should make the fee for employees almost nominal.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
You see Dave a lot of people here have tunnel vision and only see things one way. Most people do not use rail when they are on holidays etc. I know very few that use it interstate or overseas. The people on this forum are interested in rail so it is not a clear representation of the average traveller. Most of my friends would use public transport less than a couple of times per year.

Opal cards are not really free.
Goose

Goose (yes, you really are one), you are an idiot. I make no apology for that, your line of reasoning undoubtedly lends itself to that conclusion.

Tourists overwhelmingly use the PT solution in the cities they arrive in.

How do I know? I was a retail travel agent for over 20 years, and I know what people do when they arrive in a strange city.

My mother is not a railfan, but when she arrived in Melbourne she, after doing some research, purchased a myki.

Just about any visitor to London, whether they be a railfan or not, will buy an Oyster (unless they do not want to save money).

You clearly have absolutely NFI about what you are tryiong to talk about.

Please come back when you have a clue.

Meanwhi9le, your username is entirely appropriate.

Dave
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
How about "one gate pass fee and then you get the rest of the week for nix"? That still gives you a good chance of extracting full economic cost from aviation users, but should make the fee for employees almost nominal.
donttellmywife


Actually a good idea, and would make a return trip to theairport to see someone off a little more real in terms of value. I mean seriously, the $25.20 surcharge is a rip-off considering a 7 day gate pass is only $21, but cannot conveniently brought anywhere except at the airport.

I'm betting that they are trying to keep the airport gatepass as low key as possible. If they continue the same sneeky system that they have now, considering they don't even advertise the weekly pass, then it will become another reason why OPAL won't get adopted en-mass, for example airport workers and casual visitors.

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