Opal card questions

 
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
If it was a Wide access gate, then those gates by design are slower in reading the opal card then the standard entry/exit gate.

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  matthewg Train Controller

If it was a Wide access gate, then those gates by design are slower in reading the opal card then the standard entry/exit gate.
Blackadder

Slower by mis-design. Just because the gate mech is larger and slow is no excuse for making the ticket read slower to match !. Besides the gate doesn't start moving till the ticket has been read, making the wide gates even slower!
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
Slower by mis-design. Just because the gate mech is larger and slow is no excuse for making the ticket read slower to match !. Besides the gate doesn't start moving till the ticket has been read, making the wide gates even slower!
matthewg

No slower, because they are meant to be for the less mobile etc.
  matthewg Train Controller

No slower, because they are meant to be for the less mobile etc.
Blackadder

I don't see how making the reader appear broken makes things easier for the 'less mobile'.

The slow gate mechanical cycle is for that. Having the reader turn it self off every 2 seconds is a bug, not a feature. It does not help the use of the gate.

It takes me 2-3 times as long to get a wide gate to accept my ticket and start to open than a standard gate. I'm not including the slower open time here. The ticket read is slower. The magnetic ticket reader doesn't have this issue as the gate switches direction the moment the sensor in the slot detects a ticket is inserted and there is no delay. (Again ignoring the slower opening of the wider paddles)
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
The reader is not broken, the reason for the cycles are the Gates work in both directions at the same time rather than the standard entry/exit.
The wide gates have been that way since they were installed, and that has continued since Opal came along. If the extra second or so really is a problem to you, plenty of gates that work at normal speed.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Again, as I assume an abled person, MG, you should be using the regular barriers to enter/exit the station. Solves the issue of slow entry/exit.

As blackadder wrote, the Wide Gate should only be used by less mobile persons, large groups, people with bulky luggage, etc. It is slower because it is not meant to be used by normally abled persons who can use the regular barriers. Take the hint.
  matthewg Train Controller

Again, as I assume an abled person, MG, you should be using the regular barriers to enter/exit the station. Solves the issue of slow entry/exit.

As blackadder wrote, the Wide Gate should only be used by less mobile persons, large groups, people with bulky luggage, etc. It is slower because it is not meant to be used by normally abled persons who can use the regular barriers. Take the hint.
Aurora8

I am not so agile as to be able to lift my bicycle over the barriers, possibly clobbering other passengers in vicinity in the process.

Two other occasions I was carrying a computer screen under my arm and while I could have fitted through a standard barrier by lifting the screen up and over, it would have been difficult fumbling the screen about AND trying to touch my card to the reader at the same time.

Don't assume every one using the wide gates is disabled in some manner.

When a station staff member helpfully manually opened a wide gate so I could easily pass with my bicycle, the Opal reader wouldn't work at all. (Cycling on and off rapidly). I had to wave my card at them and signal them to close the gate before it would read my card. Which once the reader pad cycled to green, on the normal slow cycle, read my card fine and the gates opened.

I still say the cycling the Opal reader on and off at the wide gates is a design blunder, but I can under stand how the underlying system architecture is forcing this back and forth cycling behaviour. But it's still a bug, not a feature.

Making the card read slow and unreliable is no help to anybody.
(And I'm talking about the card read / ticket validation here, not the actual movement of the gate flapper arms).
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Now people are saying the Opal brings a price increase, probably because it cost so much to implement, thats not the publics fault.
  matthewg Train Controller

Now people are saying the Opal brings a price increase, probably because it cost so much to implement, thats not the publics fault.
Junction box

It's not a fare increase, it's just 'different'.

The @%^#$ is going to hit the fan however when all those people who benefited from the MyMulti3 'give-away' (primarily in the western suburbs) find the same large discount is not in Opal, will not be pleased.

But I (as some one who didn't benefit at all from the MyZone restructure) see it as removing a discount given to them by the previous government (as a vote buying exercise) not a fare increase.

I don't see what's fair about the huge per km discounts the long distance travellers get, distance discounts that are still in Opal (just not as generous as MyMulti3)

Really the MyMulti 3 ticket is insanely cheap for what you get for it.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Now people are saying the Opal brings a price increase, probably because it cost so much to implement, thats not the publics fault.
Junction box

Probably not.  According to the state auditors reports the cost of the roll-out is pretty much smack bang on budget.

It is cheaper to sell a ticket via the Opal system than it is by the previous system.  

Perhaps those people were just ignorant?  That's also not the public's fault - it would be a shame to have improvements to the system thwarted by ignorance and self-interest.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
This morning I caught the train after work from Arncliff to Petersham and tapped on aprox ¾ hour early due to waiting for the first train service. At Central I tapped out and in to purchase some food (~5 mins) and then travelled to Petersham to end my journey.
I expected this to be shown as 2 trips and charged as 1 journey, similar as to what has happened in the past.

I have been charged as follows:
Thu 24/04/2014 03:51 Arncliffe to No tap off -$5.67
Wed 23/04/2014 23:59 Unknown to Central -$2.31
Thu 24/04/2014 04:54 Central to Petersham -$2.31
Shouldn't this just be one journey? Is the cause tapping on too early before the first service the issue?

I've sent a query off to Opal, but has anyone had this problem. I'm suspecting that tapping on before 4am is the culprit.

I also took this trip to work a few hours earlier.
Wed 23/04/2014 21:39 Petersham to Town Hall -$2.31

I'm wondering if this has contributed to the triple charging?

I can understand the Arncliffe to No tap off -$5.67 if the data cuts off at 4am each day and/or no previous tap on registered. (Arncliff is just poles not gates)

The next trip shows Unknown to Central -$2.31 and it has calculated a zone 1 fare, meaning it has used the Arncliff station as the origin, even though displaying it as Unknown. Why wouldn't this also be a $5.67 default fare? Where did the 23:59 previous day come from? Could I be up for fare evasion at this point?

Then my next trip is a standard Central to Petersham fare, which has obviously not taken the "Unknown" Origin into consideration.

I'm just trying to understand and analyse the algorithms for this expensive trip.
  dirge Chief Train Controller

Location: 33° 58' 6" S; 151° 7' 28" E
I've sent a query off to Opal, but has anyone had this problem. I'm suspecting that tapping on before 4am is the culprit.
gmanning1


I had a similar one where my tap _on_ at Town Hall had some sort of data failure. Like yours it was a split trip; so I had an "unknown to Hurstville" and a "Hurstville to Jannali" with the first one listed as the previous day; so I was charged more than I should have been.

I rang OPAL and explained what my actual movements were & they adjusted it. I have to say the person on the phone was helpful, pragmatic & didn't need things explained more than once. Give 'em a call, gmanning1 Very Happy
  matthewg Train Controller


Wed 23/04/2014 23:59 Unknown to Central -$2.31
...
The next trip shows Unknown to Central -$2.31 and it has calculated a zone 1 fare, meaning it has used the Arncliff station as the origin, even though displaying it as Unknown. Why wouldn't this also be a $5.67 default fare? Where did the 23:59 previous day come from? Could I be up for fare evasion at this point?
gmanning1


The 23:59 time appears to be what it displays when it doesn't know the time. I've seen that on my own Opal account when a comms failure meant that a trip was shown as origin 'unknown' online.

In my case the the online record was wrong. Eventually they noticed the card balance and the online balance didn't match and a 'correction' appeared on my online record to make it all tally up.

It would be interesting to find out if your card balance is actually correct for the trips undertaken but the web site has got into some sort of bother as one of the trips crossed it's idea of when the next day starts, instead of an actual real overcharge.

The lack of Opal ticket machines we can check our card balances on makes this hard to determine.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
The 23:59 time appears to be what it displays when it doesn't know the time. I've seen that on my own Opal account when a comms failure meant that a trip was shown as origin 'unknown' online.
matthewg

In my case it looks like all the tap on/offs are registered, 1 @ Arncliffe, 2 @ Central & 1 @ Petersham. The 23:59 inclusion I'm sure is to do with the 4am changeover. I'm just confused why the fare was then an off-peak 0-10km charge and not a default fare.

In my case the the online record was wrong. Eventually they noticed the card balance and the online balance didn't match and a 'correction' appeared on my online record to make it all tally up.

I've reported this trip to Opal and received an e-mail back telling me to re-reported it whilst logged in, which I've now done. Being a long weekend I'll leave it for a few days and see what happens.

It would be interesting to find out if your card balance is actually correct for the trips undertaken but the web site has got into some sort of bother as one of the trips crossed it's idea of when the next day starts, instead of an actual real overcharge.

No, even though the online statement doesn't show a running balance, I did notice the $10 balance change, rather than the $2.87 charge I was expecting. When I logged in the online balance was the same.

Actually the transactions are a bit hard to reconcile as there is no running balance on the Opal Activity page. Just a balance on the Opal Account overview page.

I'm just curious now with regard to the Night Ride services, how are they going to operate as they will have regular trips crossing over the 4am changeover. The Opal website just mentions that they will be using the bus charging rather than the train charging, which is what happens now I believe.

Up till Opal I normally used a day return ticket which included the Night ride to/from the city.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Actually the transactions are a bit hard to reconcile as there is no running balance on the Opal Activity page. Just a balance on the Opal Account overview page.
gmanning1

Well OK just received this advice:


Thank you for contacting Opal Customer Care.  
Your request for a fare adjustment has been approved. ($5.67 + $2.31) has been returned to the value of your Opal card for trans#111 & #112.
Due to a system issue on that date which has now been resolved the fares were not calculated accurately Opal apologizes for any inconvenience caused.



Interestingly the balance does now appear to be adjusted, however the trips are still listed in the Opal activity page and the refund transaction has not been listed?
  matthewg Train Controller

Interestingly the balance does now appear to be adjusted, however the trips are still listed in the Opal activity page and the refund transaction has not been listed?
gmanning1


They don't appear to want or have the ability to change existing records. So they will stay there forever.

Refunds appear to be treated like a top-up - it won't appear until you actually tap a reader to 'collect' it, at which point a 'collection' entry will appear in your online account.
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

just reading the news  on the transport site. and hit a problem for the older people without opal card's and need to get to a station.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/opal-rollout-expands-state-transit-buses-sydneys-east

quote ' From 1 June 2014, State Transit customers will need to pre-purchase their Pensioner Excursion Tickets before they board the bus from more than 1,600 outlets across Sydney including 7-11 convenience stores, newsagents, Australia Post and Woolworths stores. '

i have a bus stop. but all the locations to buy a ticket are at the end of the bus route. and you cannot get a opal card for Pensioner at the current time. ( most will not understand a opal card)

any one see the same problem?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
just reading the news on the transport site. and hit a problem for the older people without opal card's and need to get to a station.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/opal-rollout-expands-state-transit-buses-sydneys-east

quote ' From 1 June 2014, State Transit customers will need to pre-purchase their Pensioner Excursion Tickets before they board the bus from more than 1,600 outlets across Sydney including 7-11 convenience stores, newsagents, Australia Post and Woolworths stores. '

i have a bus stop. but all the locations to buy a ticket are at the end of the bus route. and you cannot get a opal card for Pensioner at the current time. ( most will not understand a opal card)

any one see the same problem?
viaprojects

Tomorrow, catch the bus to the end of the route and buy 25 PET tickets from the shop.  They are undated - use them over the weeks and months ahead.  When they start to run low, catch the bus to the end of the route again and buy another 25.  Repeat this until the Gold Opal is available.  

If you accidentally run out of PET tickets before you make it to the shop, then pay a cash MyBus fare and catch the bus to the end of the route so that you can buy another batch of 25.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Tomorrow, catch the bus to the end of the route and buy 25 PET tickets from the shop. They are undated - use them over the weeks and months ahead. When they start to run low, catch the bus to the end of the route again and buy another 25. Repeat this until the Gold Opal is available.

If you accidentally run out of PET tickets before you make it to the shop, then pay a cash MyBus fare and catch the bus to the end of the route so that you can buy another batch of 25.
donttellmywife

OR, since people using these tickets are usually (but not always) cash-constrained, just buy one in advance NOW and keep it in your wallet/purse.

Then, once the on-board sales ceases, use that one on your day out, and on each and every day out, buy another one for the next time, so that you always have one up your sleeve.

Quite easy, really.

Dave
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
They don't appear to want or have the ability to change existing records. So they will stay there forever.

Refunds appear to be treated like a top-up - it won't appear until you actually tap a reader to 'collect' it, at which point a 'collection' entry will appear in your online account.
matthewg

Yes this appears to be the case. After taking a trip yesterday, there are now two "Adjustment" transactions on the "Opal activity" page, both with the same date/timestamp as the tap on.

Also now on the "Opal account overview" page it shows the "Last top up amount" as $2.31.

Strange way of doing things?
  matthewg Train Controller


quote ' From 1 June 2014, State Transit customers will need to pre-purchase their Pensioner Excursion Tickets before they board the bus from more than 1,600 outlets across Sydney including 7-11 convenience stores, newsagents, Australia Post and Woolworths stores. '
viaprojects


It would appear they are not setting up the new Wayfarer machines to encode tickets using the green readers, only read them. So as they 'upgrade' the consoles to Opal, they can no longer issue magnetic tickets on that bus.

For some reason they don't want ST bus drivers carrying blank pre-encoded PET tickets (like the 'private' operators do). The things you buy from the retailers are 'pre-encoded', so I'm not sure why the bus drivers can't carry them and just sell them like any other cash fare. Yes the Wayfarer would need the PET fare in it's list of cash fares, but that should be trivial (unlike interfacing it to the green readers).
  matthewg Train Controller

Yes this appears to be the case. After taking a trip yesterday, there are now two "Adjustment" transactions on the "Opal activity" page, both with the same date/timestamp as the tap on.

Also now on the "Opal account overview" page it shows the "Last top up amount" as $2.31.

Strange way of doing things?
gmanning1

Not really - any 'adjustment' is injected into the system as a top up. Then it uses the same code path from the back end to the users card and back again. A well tested path.

Seems to me they are being sensible with code re-use and generalising interfaces, instead of specially coding each and every case.
  sydneytwains Station Master

When the gold opal comes out will the current pension ticket from Woolies, 7-11 be abolished?
Being undated is a big rort. I have seen tickets that had been encoded thru a gate or used then stamped with a date for use a 2nd time.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
When the gold opal comes out will the current pension ticket from Woolies, 7-11 be abolished?
sydneytwains

I expect so, eventually.
  sydneytwains Station Master

I'm thinking very hard about this. Can someone explain to me how the pension excursion Opal will work? The current Opal is modeled on a single fare calculation.
How will a pensioner tag on and off on different modes of transport?
I need a technical software answer.

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