Opal card questions

 
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
^ Unfortunately on both counts.

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  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
But hopefully not for too long. In a year, we'll have no Monthly or longer periodicals (are there really no student MyMulti's monthly or longer?), and we'll have the ability to force everyone onto Opal which will speed up buses dramatically.

As for tourists, just do what Qld does. You buy a smart card when you get here (at the airport presumably) and you get a cash refund of any value including the deposit when you leave.
simonl

I think the contactless credit/debit card approach (which is not mutually exclusive with other options) is perhaps even better, should things go that way.  

Use of Opal by tourists arriving and departing Sydney by plane comes with the ... advantage ... that there won't really be that much extra value left on a Adult card with the standard $40 starting value, once two lots of airport link gate pass have been deducted.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Is the following Calculation correct, if I choose to travel to work by Bus and Train, each way, during Peak Hours ?


Using the schedule for Opal Fares (applicable to Bus and Train):-
Bus (distance 0 - 3 km) Fare will cost $2.10 each way.
Train (distance 20 - 35 km) Fare will cost $4.70 each way.


If I just take the Train (leave the Car at the Station), Total Fare for the Week = $37.60 (8 journeys the maximum charge for the week)

If I leave the Car at Home, take the Bus & Train, Total Fare for the Week = $27.20 (8 journeys, the maximum charge for the week)
Each time I step onto a Bus is one Journey, and each time I step onto a Train is another Journey.
Cost = $2.10 + $4.70 multiplied 4 times (for two days).
I'm using up 4 Journeys each day (Monday & Tuesday).
From Wednesday onwards I will incur no further Fare charge (for Train & Bus travel).

In this case, I'm saving $10.40 leaving the Car at home.


Can I receive confirmation that the Bus and Train Total Fare will only be $27.20 for the week.


- Scott.
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Each time I step onto a Bus is one Journey, and each time I step onto a Train is another Journey.
Cost = $2.10 + $4.70 multiplied 4 times (for two days).
scott4570

The bus/train combo is two trips which counts as one journey.

Journey cost will be $2.10 + $4.70 = $6.80 multiplied by 8 will be $54.40 per week.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
I think the contactless credit/debit card approach (which is not mutually exclusive with other options) is perhaps even better, should things go that way.
donttellmywife

I think do both.
  matthewg Train Controller



Each time I step onto a Bus is one Journey, and each time I step onto a Train is another Journey.
Cost = $2.10 + $4.70 multiplied 4 times (for two days).
I'm using up 4 Journeys each day (Monday & Tuesday).
scott4570


trip != journey.

the bus + train combo is two trips, and charged as such due to Sydney disintegrated fare system. But for the purposes of the 'travel reward' a further trip undertaken less than 60 minutes from the previous is considered the same journey.
You have to make 8 journeys to get the 'travel reward', not 8 trips.

This prevents some one from 'gaming' the system by catching a train or bus one stop, getting out going back in and racking up 8 short (and cheap) journeys by lunch time on Monday and thence travel the rest of the week free.

The issue would go away if Sydney had a proper integrated fare system that didn't penalise you for changing modes. As it stands there is a significant disincentive to catch the bus to the station.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Thank you for the responses to the previous Scenario.

I would like to ask another potential trip that I may take.


During the Off-peak hours, I tap-on at Station A and take the train to Station B (Distance travelled 25kms, time taken 45 minutes). The Fare applicable for this trip should be $3.29.
On arrival at Station B, I remain in the paid-area of the Station watching trains and talking to friends for 2 hours before I tap-off.

What will Opal deduct as the Fare ?
Considering a 25km trip, but taking 2 hours 45 minutes between tap-on and tap-off.


Thank you.
- Scott.
  matthewg Train Controller


During the Off-peak hours, I tap-on at Station A and take the train to Station B (Distance travelled 25kms, time taken 45 minutes). The Fare applicable for this trip should be $3.29.
On arrival at Station B, I remain in the paid-area of the Station watching trains and talking to friends for 2 hours before I tap-off.

What will Opal deduct as the Fare ?
Considering a 25km trip, but taking 2 hours 45 minutes between tap-on and tap-off.
scott4570

There is an unpublished rule that Opal trips must complete in 5hrs. So as long as you tap of in under 5hrs from your tap on you will be charged the fare for the distance between the entry and exit stations. (Not the distance you actually travelled).

Apparently this isn't any sort of secret, people have called them and been told the 5hr rule.

I once forgot to tap off after a 20 minute train trip. When I realised what I'd done 2hrs later, I walked back up to the station and tapped off.

If the trip isn't 'closed' after 5hrs it's forced off and the default fare charged. While I don't know any one who's tried, I expect if you try to exit after 5hrs, it will be no tap-on and another default fare penalty charged.

All those complex rules about approved routes are out the window with Opal. Opal is fare is distance between two points and must complete in 5hrs. How you get between those two points doesn't appear to be defined as long as you do it in under 5hrs.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
According to today's SMH, the Combined Pensions Association is complaining about OPAL.

There are not enough places to buy or top-up.

See Front Page: Opal fiasco: stations no place to buy train ticket.
  matthewg Train Controller

According to today's SMH, the Combined Pensions Association is complaining about OPAL.

awsgc24

The article mixes thing up a bit. The CPA is complaining about no Opal for pensioners at all. They can't even get to the 'where do I top it up' stage.


There are not enough places to buy or top-up.
awsgc24


I think their gripe at the moment is that PETs now have to be pre-purchased as Sydney Buses no longer sell them on vehicle. So the availably of PET has been restricted months before it's replacement is being made available.



See Front Page: Opal fiasco: stations no place to buy train ticket.
awsgc24


The media is now getting onto the fact that it appears the station sales staff are being deliberately frozen out of the Opal roll out. TfNSW are hiring a marketing company to run 'pop up stalls' on stations instead of giving the Opal equipment to the existing sales staff on said station.

The SMH article in particular has mashed the pensioner gripe and the main one about general card availability into article and I think confused the two issues some what.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

Unregistered Opal cards now available from train station kiosks

Monday 28 July

From Monday 28 July, unregistered Opal cards will be available from Opal information kiosks at some train stations.
You can load a value of $20 onto an Adult card and $10 onto a Child/Youth card to get started.

http://www.transportnsw.info/sites/en/transport-status/news/2014/unregistered-opal-cards.page





These kiosks are manned by Opal staff not Sydney Train staff. Taking even more work away from station staff. Way to lower moral even further among Sydney Trains staff. Not happy Gladys!
  matthewg Train Controller

These kiosks are manned by Opal staff not Sydney Train staff. Taking even more work away from station staff. Way to lower moral even further among Sydney Trains staff. Not happy Gladys!
smithagain


They are not even Opal staff. They are employed by the marketing company TfNSW has retained to do the publicity.

Sydney Trains staff appear to have to bear the brunt of complaints about Opal but have been given no tools to enable them to help with any Opal problems.
Their entire role with Opal appears to be the 'whipping boys'.

I wonder how long before Gladys is putting the hard word on Howard Colins to keep his staff in line.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

They are not even Opal staff. They are employed by the marketing company TfNSW has retained to do the publicity.

Sydney Trains staff appear to have to bear the brunt of complaints about Opal but have been given no tools to enable them to help with any Opal problems.
Their entire role with Opal appears to be the 'whipping boys'.

I wonder how long before Gladys is putting the hard word on Howard Colins to keep his staff in line.
matthewg

The whole thing sucks. You are so right about station staff copping the flak. I'm a CSA and every single day I'm asked by pax if I can check their Opal balance,  can they buy an Opal card from me, can they top up their Opal card at the station? I have to answer no to all, and direct them to phone Opal. Pax are surprised and inconvenienced, and it makes me look like a lazy idiot.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

There is an unpublished rule that Opal trips must complete in 5hrs. So as long as you tap off in under 5hrs from your tap on you will be charged the fare for the distance between the entry and exit stations. (Not the distance you actually travelled).    

If the trip isn't 'closed' after 5hrs it's forced off and the default fare charged. While I don't know any one who's tried, I expect if you try to exit after 5hrs, it will be no tap-on and another default fare penalty charged.

matthewg



Further question in respect to the 5 hour Rule.

Train travel in Off-peak times, I tap-on at Lithgow and travel to Strathfield, then go north to Dungog.
I tap-off at Strathfield for a Coffee, tap-on again, tap-off at Hamilton for a Coffee, tap-on again, and finish the Journey at Dungog where I will tap-off for the final time.

Will this be deemed to be one Journey for the Off-peak Fare of $5.67 (distance travelled over 65km) and will I avoid the 5 hour Rule ?


- Scott.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Further question in respect to the 5 hour Rule.

Train travel in Off-peak times, I tap-on at Lithgow and travel to Strathfield, then go north to Dungog.
I tap-off at Strathfield for a Coffee, tap-on again, tap-off at Hamilton for a Coffee, tap-on again, and finish the Journey at Dungog where I will tap-off for the final time.

Will this be deemed to be one Journey for the Off-peak Fare of $5.67 (distance travelled over 65km) and will I avoid the 5 hour Rule ?
scott4570


Yes.  One journey comprised of three trips.  As there is no mode change the fare is charged from journey start to journey end.  If you continued to pause your journey for additional coffee you may run into a limit around of the number of trips per journey (I think the limit is four) and you may also need to avail yourself of any toilet facilities.

Yes.  The "five hour rule", as currently understood, relates to the time between the tap-on and tap-off pair for a particular trip.

I have done a number of trips like this (but not over the same total distance or same likely duration).
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

A query in respect to the Peak and the Off-peak travel times for train travel and the Fare applicable.

I tap-on at Station A, 1545 hours, I then tap-off at Station B, 1630 hours.

I commence to travel in the Off-peak hours, but finish the trip in the Peak hours.
Will I be charged a Fare at the Off-peak rate or at the Full Peak rate ?


Thank you.
- Scott.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
A query in respect to the Peak and the Off-peak travel times for train travel and the Fare applicable.

I tap-on at Station A, 1545 hours, I then tap-off at Station B, 1630 hours.

I commence to travel in the Off-peak hours, but finish the trip in the Peak hours.
Will I be charged a Fare at the Off-peak rate or at the Full Peak rate ?
scott4570

Off peak.  The fare class is determined by the time you tap on.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Carrying on with the Off-peak, and Full-Peak Fare question.


Station A (1545 hours) to Station B (arrive 1630 hours) = Off-peak Fare.

Within 60 minutes, I decide to travel further:-
Station B (1715 hours) to Station C (arrive 1745 hours)

I now have a Journey from Station A to Station C.
Will this be calculated at the Off-peak rate for the entire Journey ?


Thank you.
- Scott.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Carrying on with the Off-peak, and Full-Peak Fare question.


Station A (1545 hours) to Station B (arrive 1630 hours) = Off-peak Fare.

Within 60 minutes, I decide to travel further:-
Station B (1715 hours) to Station C (arrive 1745 hours)

I now have a Journey from Station A to Station C.
Will this be calculated at the Off-peak rate for the entire Journey ?
scott4570

I expect so, but don't have any examples in my usage to confirm.

Why do you care?
  matthewg Train Controller

Carrying on with the Off-peak, and Full-Peak Fare question.


Station A (1545 hours) to Station B (arrive 1630 hours) = Off-peak Fare.

Within 60 minutes, I decide to travel further:-
Station B (1715 hours) to Station C (arrive 1745 hours)

I now have a Journey from Station A to Station C.
Will this be calculated at the Off-peak rate for the entire Journey ?
scott4570


I did this once, but the result was inconclusive as I only went one station further, thus was in the same fare zone, so the additional fare was $0.
It certainly didn't try to charge me some odd amount extra for the short , now peak, trip. However it may have behaved differently if I'd crossed a MyTrain fare boundary and the next highest fare, as it would have needed to charge me something extra for the extended journey.
(I'd hopped off, got something to eat from a local shop and got back on the next train to continue my journey)


If you go train - bus - train , it charges you for 3 trips, but for the purposes of qualifying for the travel reward is still seen as one Journey.
Rather annoyed by that one, if you are going to charge me an extra flag fall, I want my travel reward credit damn it!.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
If you go train - bus - train , it charges you for 3 trips, but for the purposes of qualifying for the travel reward is still seen as one Journey.
Rather annoyed by that one, if you are going to charge me an extra flag fall, I want my travel reward credit damn it!.
matthewg

While I agree it is currently annoying, a far better fix would be to deal with the extra flag-fall in some way.  

But I dread the whinging that's going to be associated with that change.
  3831 Station Master

Hi all, One major problem pensioners have with the new Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card, is that they will have to catch a bus to an outlet that sells the required card, as they will not be able to purchase one on any State Transit Bus - how do they get to the sales outlet? (Since 1 June 2014, they have had to do this to purchase a Pensioner excursion ticket). Most pensioners that I know are widows with no car and the closest outlet is over 2 klms away.  Wasn't it easier to purchase a ticket on the bus, railway station or wharf? And what has happened to "public service".
A lot of needless worry to put onto these older Australians.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Hi all, One major problem pensioners have with the new Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner card, is that they will have to catch a bus to an outlet that sells the required card, as they will not be able to purchase one on any State Transit Bus - how do they get to the sales outlet?
3831

So catching a bus is a "major problem"?
  3831 Station Master

So catching a bus is a "major problem"?
donttellmywife

Hi donttellmywife, No, catching a bus would be great, but as they can't pay for their ticket on board the bus anymore they can't catch a bus to a sales outlet that sells the new card so they can get on the bus. A couple of these widows reside right at bus stops, but all they can do now is watch the buses sail by.
To get around it for now a few of us will obtain enough of the undated Pensioner excursion tickets from the outlets and give them to these pensioners. This will probably change again when the Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner cards come on line later in the year, because a lot of these people don't have credit cards to top up the new opal cards. Bus or rail same problem.
  3831 Station Master

So catching a bus is a "major problem"?
donttellmywife

Hi donttellmywife, Catching a bus is only a "major problem" when you can't catch it! and it's the only means of transport available to you.

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