Opal card questions

 
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

When I retired four years ago, school admin staff were still compiling attendance data for pass holders, to calculate the number of days for which subsidy was payable.
mikado5910

When the Opal Card is finally provided to students it would probably just allow entry/exist without any charge. If the cards are free then there is no need to link them to a payment system. The method of working out subsidy would now be automated based on tap on/off history.

The obvious method of dealing with Pensioner Opal Cards would be to link them to the holders pension account. The problem with this is that it may be legally impossible to do this as the card is a state government matter whilst the pension is provided by the Commonwealth and if the account holder refuses to allow a direct debit from such account there is probably no way of forcing them to do so.

A lot of pensioners already have difficulty using an TVM to obtain a $2:50 ticket at stations that do not sell tickets through the windows due to the fact they insist on punching in a destination. Getting pensioners to use some sort of top up system will be a logistical nightmare as many still rely on cash transactions and think debit cards etc are the work of satan. I believe some banks still provide a pass book to access a pension account due to this aversion to plastic.

Sponsored advertisement

  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The obvious method of dealing with Pensioner Opal Cards would be to link them to the holders pension account. The problem with this is that it may be legally impossible to do this as the card is a state government matter whilst the pension is provided by the Commonwealth and if the account holder refuses to allow a direct debit from such account there is probably no way of forcing them to do so.
nswtrains

The particular concession is for "seniors", which is much broader than just pensioners.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
A lot of pensioners already have difficulty using an TVM to obtain a $2:50 ticket at stations that do not sell tickets through the windows due to the fact they insist on punching in a destination. Getting pensioners to use some sort of top up system will be a logistical nightmare as many still rely on cash transactions and think debit cards etc are the work of satan. I believe some banks still provide a pass book to access a pension account due to this aversion to plastic.
"nswtrains"

??

Most TVMs allow a person to purchase an all day Pensioner Excursion ticket.
  Kurmudgeon Junior Train Controller

This is interesting...

On one day last week journey 0 transaction 123 shows my start of journey as unknown (bus) to a station, charged $0.
The next day, transaction 122 (i.e.; an earlier transaction on a later date) is a top-up of a negative amount.

The second transaction (which happened first) seems to be a charge (Reverse top-up? Top-down? Bottom-up? What's the Opal lingo I'm looking for here?) for the first (second) transaction, as that journey (journey 0, which was my 5th journey) was actually a station to unknown (bus; Opal reader on the bus decided to close so I couldn't tap-off). (I don't mind when Opal readers on buses decide to close at start of trip, as that means a free trip.)

Yet on the weekend the transactions and trips/journeys were all correct... it's like the system has tried to self-correct needlessly and screwed up (but at no expense to me, so no complaints).
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
The obvious method of dealing with Pensioner Opal Cards would be to link them to the holders pension account. The problem with this is that it may be legally impossible to do this as the card is a state government matter whilst the pension is provided by the Commonwealth and if the account holder refuses to allow a direct debit from such account there is probably no way of forcing them to do so.

A lot of pensioners already have difficulty using an TVM to obtain a $2:50 ticket at stations that do not sell tickets through the windows due to the fact they insist on punching in a destination. Getting pensioners to use some sort of top up system will be a logistical nightmare as many still rely on cash transactions and think debit cards etc are the work of satan. I believe some banks still provide a pass book to access a pension account due to this aversion to plastic.
nswtrains

I began using the senior concession at age 60 long before I became a pensioner. I lived at Woodford where there was no ticket window and merely pushed the button for a senior concession card, no destination required. My Commonwealth pension is now paid to the NZ government who would not appreciate my paying for an opal card from their money. (They provide me with a more generous NZ superannuation). Here in Dunedin you must use a GO card to obtain a senior fare on the buses (free 9 - 3 and after 6 on weekdays plus all weekend - 10% reduction in peak hours) and elderly people may fumble to find it in their purses but have no problem otherwise. Many of my friends, mainly in their 70's,  use cards to pay for their coffees. Smile
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
This is interesting...

On one day last week journey 0 transaction 123 shows my start of journey as unknown (bus) to a station, charged $0.
The next day, transaction 122 (i.e.; an earlier transaction on a later date) is a top-up of a negative amount.

The second transaction (which happened first) seems to be a charge (Reverse top-up? Top-down? Bottom-up? What's the Opal lingo I'm looking for here?) for the first (second) transaction, as that journey (journey 0, which was my 5th journey) was actually a station to unknown (bus; Opal reader on the bus decided to close so I couldn't tap-off). (I don't mind when Opal readers on buses decide to close at start of trip, as that means a free trip.)

Yet on the weekend the transactions and trips/journeys were all correct... it's like the system has tried to self-correct needlessly and screwed up (but at no expense to me, so no complaints).
Kurmudgeon

I suspect... there's been a glitch with a reader or set of readers.  As a result of that glitch, the balance on your card as a result of the trips you've taken is inconsistent with the balance held by the back-end system.  That inconsistency has been identified and an artificial top-up transaction inserted into the transaction history to make the on-card and back-end system balance consistent.

(Was the negative amount consistent with the fare that you would have expected to pay for that journey (or fare component for that trip)?)
  Kurmudgeon Junior Train Controller

I suspect... there's been a glitch with a reader or set of readers. As a result of that glitch, the balance on your card as a result of the trips you've taken is inconsistent with the balance held by the back-end system. That inconsistency has been identified and an artificial top-up transaction inserted into the transaction history to make the on-card and back-end system balance consistent.

(Was the negative amount consistent with the fare that you would have expected to pay for that journey (or fare component for that trip)?)
donttellmywife


Yeah, the negative top up amount was what the $0 should have been (default trip fare adjusted for daily cap; which is what usually happens when a reader is closed at end of bus trip home).
  gr5436 Beginner

Does anyone know what the fee is if you tap on/tap off outside 30 minutes at the same station? Tapping off within 30 minutes counts as a 'cancellation', but I'm wondering what the charge is if you tap off outside the 30 minutes? Default minimum or maximum?

For example:
   - tap on at Central
   - travel to the airport
   - wait on the platform (i.e. don't tap off, avoid airport access fee)
   - travel back to Central
   - tap off at Central
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
if you tap on and off at the same station within 1 hour it counts as you reversing your tap on, i.e. it's free.
  gr5436 Beginner

Thanks for the info. Any idea what it would charge if it was longer than 1 hour?
  PKBeam Locomotive Driver

Location: Somewhere in NSW
probably a default fare?
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
if you tap on and off at the same station within 1 hour it counts as you reversing your tap on, i.e. it's free.
"PKBeam"

Within 30 minutes to not be charged the minimum fare.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
If you return to your starting point, on the same journey, without mode change, you are charged the minimum fare for the mode for the time of travel, (gate pass charges excepted).  I think this was explicitly documented by example in the early days of the Opal site.  This technically should apply to buses and trains, but I have seen reports that the buses may not quite follow the rule - trains definitely do.  The fare for a contiguous set of trips within a journey is charged on the basis of the beginning and end of the contiguous set, not the intermediate points.

The airport stations are different due to the gate pass issue, but putting those aside, even if you tap off at your intermediate destination, you just need to tap on again within 60 minutes (so that you continue the journey) to have the next trip counted as part of the same journey.

You may (I don't know for sure) also need to have sufficient balance on your card for the cost of the one way trip, otherwise your attempt to transfer at your intermediate station may fail due to insufficient balance.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
If you return to your starting point, on the same journey, without mode change, you are charged the minimum fare for the mode for the time of travel, (gate pass charges excepted). I think this was explicitly documented by example in the early days of the Opal site.
donttellmywife

Definitely the case. A few Sundays back, I did Katoomba to Blackheath, the Opal off-peak fare should have been $2.87, but the $2.50 day cap was applied.

Returning within an hour, the Blackheath to Katoomba was actually charged as minus 19 cents, meaning I spent $2.31 for the round trip, which is the minimum off-peak fare.

Dave
  gr5436 Beginner

Just to confirm, I did the tap on Central -> Airport platform -> Central tap off journey today off-peak and was only charged $2.31.
  georges Train Controller
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
A dissenting overview on Opal from today's Herald:
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/opal-card-makes-public-transport-harder-less-fun-and-more-expensive-20141001-10oip1.html
"georges"

It is worthy to remember that te article is NOT a general news article, it is an opinion piece which would be located in the paper following the letters page.

(EDIT: Had an issue with my comment inserted into georges' quote so inserted URL code for the link which looks to have fixed it.)
  jdennis Junior Train Controller

Anyone know if there is a way to get an Opal card without having to put at least $40 of value on it? That seemed to be the case when I tried to buy one online and, not being a resident of Sydney, seems a pretty big disincentive to actually buy a card.

If I buy one in Sydney would I have more luck getting a smaller amount on the card?
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Anyone know if there is a way to get an Opal card without having to put at least $40 of value on it? That seemed to be the case when I tried to buy one online and, not being a resident of Sydney, seems a pretty big disincentive to actually buy a card.

If I buy one in Sydney would I have more luck getting a smaller amount on the card?
jdennis


Back in August, I was able to purchase an unregistered Card from a Newsagency Kiosk at a Train Station with a $20 minimum to start.
Since then, I've registered the card through the Opal Card website, and I have been back to the Kiosk to top-up with $10.

You should be able to obtain a list of outlets now selling the Opal from the website.


- Scott.
  jdennis Junior Train Controller

Back in August, I was able to purchase an unregistered Card from a Newsagency Kiosk at a Train Station with a $20 minimum to start.
Since then, I've registered the card through the Opal Card website, and I have been back to the Kiosk to top-up with $10.

You should be able to obtain a list of outlets now selling the Opal from the website.


- Scott.
scott4570

Thanks Scott. $20 is more reasonable so I might look into purchasing one next time I'm in Sydney.
  Kurmudgeon Junior Train Controller

I got another negative top-up (it couldn't work out where I had travelled). My latest manual top-up isn't showing, and none of my bus trips, and my balance is much more than it should be.

Now I'm not going to complain if they want to top-up my balance with more than I actually paid, but this is making reconciling things a pain.
  matthewg Train Controller

I got another negative top-up (it couldn't work out where I had travelled). My latest manual top-up isn't showing, and none of my bus trips, and my balance is much more than it should be.

Now I'm not going to complain if they want to top-up my balance with more than I actually paid, but this is making reconciling things a pain.
Kurmudgeon


I got a negative top up as well, a result of missing bus trip data. They managed to record a tap off as a tap on with a -1.40 fare. The -1.40 would have been the 'refund' from the default fare taken at tap on.
To make it balance, they added a -3.80 top up to my log. Add the two together and you get the fare I was actually charged at tap off.
They have since (manually ?) changed it to a 'Broad­way at Buck­land St to Broad­way at Buck­land St' with a (correct) $2.10 fare deduction. (I actually went up Paramatta road and got off in Catherine Street)

I still have a $0 top up to replace another missing bus record. (I was in travel reward by then).

Given they managed to give me a nonsensical $0 top up, I suspect these negative top ups are an automated attempt to make the system balance.
  Goose Chief Train Controller

From the Opal Seniors/Gold web page.



  • Customers who travel more than 8 paid journeys in a week will get free trips after that for the rest of the week.




Can someone explain that as you can only have 7 in a week!
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Can someone explain that as you can only have 7 in a week!
Goose

The traveller could take 8 x short bus trips at the beginning of the week (8x$1.05).

The rest of the travel for that week would be capped at $8.40 !!
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Note that it would take several days to rack up those eight paid trips as the spend per day for the gold card is capped at $2.50 (unlimited travel on a day for no further cost once that cap is hit).

But consequently, with the right travel pattern you can potentially get unlimited travel for a whole week for only $7.20.  

And yet they still complain and whinge.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

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