Opal Card Roll-out

 
  SydTrain1988 Beginner

Travelled from Town Hall to St Leonards on Opal today. Worked fine, deducted correct fare.

I was thinking, wouldn't it be more sensible to put Opal readers on trains in remote locations such as those on the hunter line, to save on construction costs. It's not like anyone would tap on anyway.

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  thefatcontroller Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, Australia
Travelled from Town Hall to St Leonards on Opal today. Worked fine, deducted correct fare.

I was thinking, wouldn't it be more sensible to put Opal readers on trains in remote locations such as those on the hunter line, to save on construction costs. It's not like anyone would tap on anyway.
SydTrain1988
But they wouldn't get the passenger numbers that they would say on the North Shore...
  tdw Locomotive Driver

For example, you catch a train to the city from Bondi Junction and leave the station to meet someone and then within 60 minutes re-enter the station and catch a train back to Bondi Junction – that is two trips, one journey and one fare. This will count as one journey toward your Weekly Travel Reward.
Opal web site
Um, so if Bondi Junction to Bondi Junction is one journey, what exactly is the fare?
  Kamz Assistant Commissioner

Travelled from Town Hall to St Leonards on Opal today. Worked fine, deducted correct fare.

I was thinking, wouldn't it be more sensible to put Opal readers on trains in remote locations such as those on the hunter line, to save on construction costs. It's not like anyone would tap on anyway.

No. That would be an anomaly.
  littleal9 Train Controller

Location: bellambi
Um, so if Bondi Junction to Bondi Junction is one journey, what exactly is the fare?
tdw
Never thought of that, quite often I've gone from Central to Circular Quay for lunch and back with in an hour.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
Um, so if Bondi Junction to Bondi Junction is one journey, what exactly is the fare?
tdw

$3.30 peak according to the example on the Opal page. Or $2.31 off peak assuming you tap back on Bondi Jn within 60mins.
  tdw Locomotive Driver

$3.30 peak according to the example on the Opal page. Or $2.31 off peak assuming you tap back on Bondi Jn within 60mins.
Blackadder
This is great value here if you need to make a quick trip. Although looking at the site it seems the 60 mins is between tapping off your first train and tapping back on to the second, not actually arriving at your destination.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
AFAIK, trip time is not a issue the 60 mins is calculated on the time you tap off at your destination, to your tap on.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
AFAIK, trip time is not a issue the 60 mins is calculated on the time you tap off at your destination, to your tap on.
"Blackadder"
Ya, the only time the touch in timestamp is used is for the Manly ferry - 130 minutes from touch-in.
  daveh_oz Junior Train Controller

Chatswood to Millsons Point from August 30th. Smile
  bpmsmith Station Master

Location: Platform 4 at Epping
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"


The low balance warning examples (on the Opal website and in the welcome pack) imply that you can enter the paid area as long as you have a balance equal to the minimum fare for your mode of travel.  That is, a minimum balance of $2.31 for an off-peak train (website example is $2.60) and $3.30 for a peak train (welcome pack example is $3.70).

Given that the default fares are maximum fares for your mode of travel, there appears to be ample scope for negative balances.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
The low balance warning examples (on the Opal website and in the welcome pack) imply that you can enter the paid area as long as you have a balance equal to the minimum fare for your mode of travel.  That is, a minimum balance of $2.31 for an off-peak train (website example is $2.60) and $3.30 for a peak train (welcome pack example is $3.70).

Given that the default fares are maximum fares for your mode of travel, there appears to be ample scope for negative balances.
bpmsmith
Correct, if you have a negative balance at the tap off you will be allowed to exit however before your next tap on you will need to top up the card (the minimum being $10).
Also in Opal related news, the Opal symbol is now showing on the SydneyTrains timetable for all stations Milsons Pt to Chatswood.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Correct, if you have a negative balance at the tap off you will be allowed to exit however before your next tap on you will need to top up the card (the minimum being $10).
Also in Opal related news, the Opal symbol is now showing on the SydneyTrains timetable for all stations Milsons Pt to Chatswood.
Blackadder
And a lot of progress is being made behind the scenes so that a great many stations will be Opal Card ready. Might pay to watch the Blue Mountains Line.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Busses out Campbelltown way have had them in for months and we won't be seeing it enabled for at least another 6 months, based on earlier reports.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Correct, if you have a negative balance at the tap off you will be allowed to exit however before your next tap on you will need to top up the card (the minimum being $10).
Also in Opal related news, the Opal symbol is now showing on the SydneyTrains timetable for all stations Milsons Pt to Chatswood.
Blackadder
And still no details about how they will stop people from going into a negative balance, throwing the card away and then obtaining a new one.

Myki achieves this with a $6 purchase price, Go achives it with a refundable deposit on the card.

Dave
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

And still no details about how they will stop people from going into a negative balance, throwing the card away and then obtaining a new one.

Myki achieves this with a $6 purchase price, Go achives it with a refundable deposit on the card.

Dave
"thadocta"


I would get your OPAL  card early in the roll out.
They are well aware of the scenario you outlined. The government will decide when to change to a charge system for cards when card penetration has reached an acceptable level.
  Brendan03 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
RailCorp (or whatever its' called now) staff at Minto this morning assessing the Opal poles and discussing their location.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
And still no details about how they will stop people from going into a negative balance, throwing the card away and then obtaining a new one.

Myki achieves this with a $6 purchase price, Go achives it with a refundable deposit on the card.

Dave
thadocta

Given that $40 is the minimum required on a new card (Adult), I would say that is sufficient deterent to getting a new one every time your balance goes negative.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Given that $40 is the minimum required on a new card (Adult), I would say that is sufficient deterent to getting a new one every time your balance goes negative.
Blackadder
I would disagree. Even if they retain the $40 minimum, if I let my current card go into negative (for the sake of example, $8.00), throw it away and get a new one (for $40, with $40 credit), I would still be able to undettake $48 worth of travel for $40, throw the card away and get another $48 worth of travel for $40.

There is no disincentive to pay back the amount that the card is overdrawn by if all you have to do is get another card and load some credit on it, when all of the credit is available for travel.

FWIW, I got both myki and Opal at the earliest opportunity, and I do not intend to defraud the system, but I can see how it can be done.

Dave
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
I would disagree. Even if they retain the $40 minimum, if I let my current card go into negative (for the sake of example, $8.00), throw it away and get a new one (for $40, with $40 credit), I would still be able to undettake $48 worth of travel for $40, throw the card away and get another $48 worth of travel for $40.

There is no disincentive to pay back the amount that the card is overdrawn by if all you have to do is get another card and load some credit on it, when all of the credit is available for travel.

FWIW, I got both myki and Opal at the earliest opportunity, and I do not intend to defraud the system, but I can see how it can be done.

Dave
thadocta
It would be very hard to get to -$8.00, for the gates to open at the Origin you need to have at least the minimum fare ($3.30peak), ($2.31 Off Peak) assuming the maximum fare on tap off ($8.10) , that would leave either -$4.80 or -$5.79 either way you would get an additional 2 journeys out of the Opal Card by paying the $40 on a new card, not worth the effort IMHO.
Of course still doesn't solve the issue of those traveling between non gate stations who don't tap on or off, but like now run the risk of being pinged for fare evasion.
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

And still no details about how they will stop people from going into a negative balance, throwing the card away and then obtaining a new one.
thadocta

there are details - As you have to give your details in order to get an opal card they know where to go to get any negative balance.

it's the last question in the FAQ.

"At this stage in the rollout, all Opal cards are registered. If you prefer to travel anonymously then please continue to purchase paper tickets."
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
there are details - As you have to give your details in order to get an opal card they know where to go to get any negative balance.

it's the last question in the FAQ.

"At this stage in the rollout, all Opal cards are registered. If you prefer to travel anonymously then please continue to purchase paper tickets."
viaprojects
And, as it says, "At the moment...." There will eventually be unregistered Opal cards, so it will eventually be an issue.

Also, what is to stop me from going into negative with my current Opal and then getting a new one? They didn't ask for any form of ID when I orderedf it, I could have said I was Mickey Mouse for all they know, and Donald Duck for the next one.

Dave
  clrks Locomotive Fireman

As far as the balances go, I think they should just look at what is used on a system like Hong Kong's Octopus, probably the most successful smart card system in the world.

Over there, there is a refundable deposit of HK$50 to use the card and you can have a negative balance of up to HK$35. Therefore, there is no incentive to get new cards and dispose of them afterwards when they enter into the negative balance.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
As far as the balances go, I think they should just look at what is used on a system like Hong Kong's Octopus, probably the most successful smart card system in the world.

Over there, there is a refundable deposit of HK$50 to use the card and you can have a negative balance of up to HK$35. Therefore, there is no incentive to get new cards and dispose of them afterwards when they enter into the negative balance.
"clrks"
Yes, that is the deposit system. I'm quite sure this has been brought up before.

Meanwhile, I can use my Octopus to do such crazy things as buy cider at a Circle K.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Meanwhile, I can use my Octopus to do such crazy things as buy cider at a Circle K.
Watson374
lol
Will Opal allow shopping like the Octopus card?. if not they should really implement that feature.

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