Opal Card Roll-out

 
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Is there ever going to be a local ticketing discussion without the token mention of HK or Singapore...


Let me get this straight, when they deploy this project and if I do not travel frequently, lets say once a week for discussion purpose, I need to pay for the disposable ticket which may last only a week on top of the precisely metered non discounted fare?

So in essence I would be paying twice what the paper ticket fare would be for an infrequent journey ?

Eg this week I traveled to North Sydney once and that cost me 6.60, your saying the disposable card can cost $6 also so infrequent travelers are subsiding frequent travelers so would load their card up and use it up in a week anyway ?
"KngtRider"

Or you could just buy an Opal card.  Once a month users can easily be asked to buy a smart card.

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  Speed Minister for Railways

Let me get this straight, when they deploy this project and if I do not travel frequently, lets say once a week for discussion purpose, I need to pay for the disposable ticket which may last only a week on top of the precisely metered non discounted fare?

So in essence I would be paying twice what the paper ticket fare would be for an infrequent journey ?
"KngtRider"
Not really.

For as long as weekly tickets have existed, they have had a cheaper price than ten one-way tickets for the same journey. This saves the operator the cost of printing and selling the ticket. With a new ticketing system, you would expect to pay more for a short term ticket than a long term one.

Melbourne's new ticketing system does not support short term tickets. This means that you have to pay $6 to get a card onto which you then have to put money to pay fares. Regardless of whether you spend $50 or $3.50, you still have possession of the card. The next time that you need to travel, you can use any remaining money on that card or put more money onto the card. Many of the Myki cards in use have been in use since 2009 so there's no one week limit. If you've had a photocopying card, it's like that.


  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

Even as an infrequent traveller you would get the card, because as you say it would cost you to get  a "one off" card each week. Assuming that such a card existed,  it dosent  in Melbourne, that is why I have a Melbourne card for my infrequent trips down there. Usually with the introduction of these things there are sometimes special deals where you can get the card for a much reduced or no deposit.
Yes people that don't convert will be disadvantaged, the classic example is London; between Covent garden and Leicester sq, the oyster fare is just over £1 and the cash fare is over £4. It is actually quicker to walk, as the distance is only about 200m but not many north American tourists know that. ( that why the cash fares are called an "american tax").
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Yes people that don't convert will be disadvantaged, the classic example is London; between Covent garden and Leicester sq, the oyster fare is just over £1 and the cash fare is over £4. It is actually quicker to walk, as the distance is only about 200m but not many north American tourists know that. ( that why the cash fares are called an "american tax").
"Airvan99"


I really think there ought to be a disposable Opal single, though, but slap a hard price on it.

London also keeps paper magnetic tickets (very similar to ours), I believe. However, the fare penalty for singles is much lower in Asia - around 5-10%.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Let me get this straight, when they deploy this project and if I do not travel frequently, lets say once a week for discussion purpose, I need to pay for the disposable ticket which may last only a week on top of the precisely metered non discounted fare?

So in essence I would be paying twice what the paper ticket fare would be for an infrequent journey ?

Eg this week I traveled to North Sydney once and that cost me 6.60, your saying the disposable card can cost $6 also so infrequent travelers are subsiding frequent travelers so would load their card up and use it up in a week anyway ?
"KngtRider"


If you were once a week, it would be frequent enough to get the Opal card. Heck, I have a myki and only get to Melbourne about three or four times a year, a Go Card and I get to BrisVegas once a year, and a SmartRider and I only get to Perth about every two years.

Dave
  gilberations Assistant Commissioner

Location: Lithgow
I got a myki and i'm only in melbourne a few times a year, i will admit also, its night knowing that the one expense i dont have to worry about when i go there is transport, as my myki is linked to my bank account to take $50 out when it needs to like an etag, which i also have and rarely use. i havent had to reharge my myki once since i got it either. but i think that the fare structure in nsw is too complex for smart card like myki is. i.e. the non interchangeable zone system.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
London also keeps paper magnetic tickets (very similar to ours), I believe. However, the fare penalty for singles is much lower in Asia - around 5-10%.
"Watson374"

At a very significantly higher fare AIUI.

Just because London does it, doesn't make it right.
  KngtRider Chief Commissioner

Location: http://www.nitroware.net
The tube cash price is 4 GBP mininium for any journey as a incentive to get the cards and for revenue, some recent videos I have seen show many tube show customers in a fury at the ticket counter  and abusing the seller over having to pay 4 pounds for what could be walking distance.


I initially interepted some comments as the upcoming card having an expiry? Or are there different cards proposed.

I just dont want a 'prepaid' card that expires. I can't think of any other type of prepaid load it up card that does not have an expiry.


The other aspect is despite a changeover period, surely issues with the actual funding of your fare will come up which may cause confusion or crowding at stations


Is every station going to have a topup machine ? Not every station has TVMs and/or staffed windows at the moment


What if you need to travel urgently and do not have enough credit and do not find a means to change cash into credit. They expect someone to find a working internet and top up ?

Smart fone? hope your smart fone is charged, is online, has credit and works.

In a western country public transport is one of the most essential public services and things are kept traditional for a reason, to make it accessible to anyone anywhere. London and others changed over because they did not have a choice, they had to for their own good. Other government run systems changed over because 'it looks nice' on paper, to the voters.

Private operators can do what they like as they offer a service, but not a public one.


I would argue that the changeover would have been easier for melbourne people despite their issues. They had multi mode flexibile ticketing and conductors for a long time prior to their new systems.

Where as us sydney people have been buying our tickets the same way forever, the only change being the actual physical medium of the ticket has changed. THe way we have bought it and the structure has largely not changed. Even the 1992 TVMs were kept as simple as possible, for a reason.

If there is a cash TVM people will still use that, the TVMs have been around for 20 years now so have the gates.
If you have coins or cash on you, you can quickly and easily get a ticket from the TVM or Window in a matter of seconds.

I've been lucky in that since TVM new I've only had my coins eaten once and that was only a few months ago and ended a 'good' day and like some of you i have commuted quite a bit up to several destination a day.

I have old family members who still are afraid of the ticket barriers as they do not understand them fully or are afraid it will intentionally/uninentionally eat their ticket, let alone a cashless system that MAY need the internet or a 'complex' setup involving a bank account or debit/credit card for old people who may be paranoid or reluctant.


I am not a fan of the CBD exclusive prepay only buses either. I can understand the need for it but I do not like the concept.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
^ Failing to have an integrated fare structure is a disgrace.  Adelaide had it sorted in the 1960s, and every other major jurisdiction in Australia and most of the rest of the world can do it.

God forbid that there should be any improvement to anything. Rolling Eyes

I imagine that expiry would only apply to concession cards, which logically need expiry.  I'd also imagine that the money can be refunded or transferred to another card.
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller



I initially interepted some comments as the upcoming card having an expiry? Or are there different cards proposed.

I just dont want a 'prepaid' card that expires. I can't think of any other type of prepaid load it up card that does not have an expiry.
"KngtRider"


I think most if not all systems have some form of expiry date, to take into account cards that are lost or destroyed and will never be used again. My Brisbane card has an expiry date 10 years from now.



Is every station going to have a topup machine ? Not every station has TVMs and/or staffed windows at the moment


What if you need to travel urgently and do not have enough credit and do not find a means to change cash into credit. They expect someone to find a working internet and top up ?
"KngtRider"


I assume they are hoping that people will get auto top up, like eTags




I have old family members who still are afraid of the ticket barriers as they do not understand them fully or are afraid it will intentionally/uninentionally eat their ticket, let alone a cashless system that MAY need the internet or a 'complex' setup involving a bank account or debit/credit card for old people who may be paranoid or reluctant.
"KngtRider"


London solved this problem by issuing "freedom cards" to those over 60 and living in the London area. The freedom card allows free public transport, therefore no top up required. Although I don't expect that to happen here.


I am not a fan of the CBD exclusive prepay only buses either. I can understand the need for it but I do not like the concept.
"KngtRider"


With the award of the contract to maintain the existing machines for rail, we now now the end date for the dual system. When that contract expires, paper tickets will disappear. I expect the end date for buses will be determined by the maintenance issues of the green boxes. After that the whole city will be opal and by definition  Pre-pay only
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The tube cash price is 4 GBP mininium for any journey as a incentive to get the cards and for revenue, some recent videos I have seen show many tube show customers in a fury at the ticket counter  and abusing the seller over having to pay 4 pounds for what could be walking distance.
"KngtRider"


They ought to just bloody walk then.

I initially interepted some comments as the upcoming card having an expiry? Or are there different cards proposed.
"KngtRider"


Depends on how it's done. If they're going to retain weeklies, TravelTens and the like, yes; but if the go PAYG as the Asians do, it never expires (unless they update the technology). Experience shows the Singapore EZ-Link card is held by everyone, including Malaysians who visit every few months, simply because it does not expire and the money stays on the card.

If you're only there for a short while, you can cash it back in (same for Octopus).

I just dont want a 'prepaid' card that expires. I can't think of any other type of prepaid load it up card that does not have an expiry.
"KngtRider"


Hence me banging on about this PAYG thing. I even had it figured.

The other aspect is despite a changeover period, surely issues with the actual funding of your fare will come up which may cause confusion or crowding at stations

Is every station going to have a topup machine ? Not every station has TVMs and/or staffed windows at the moment
"KngtRider"


International practice dictates that every station will need a TVM and a reader.

What if you need to travel urgently and do not have enough credit and do not find a means to change cash into credit. They expect someone to find a working internet and top up ?

Smart fone? hope your smart fone is charged, is online, has credit and works.
"KngtRider"


EFTPOS. If you're going around sans cash, sans cards you are asking for it.

In a western country public transport is one of the most essential public services and things are kept traditional for a reason, to make it accessible to anyone anywhere. London and others changed over because they did not have a choice, they had to for their own good. Other government run systems changed over because 'it looks nice' on paper, to the voters.

Private operators can do what they like as they offer a service, but not a public one.
"KngtRider"


I gather the impression you are satisfied with the current ticketing system. Please tell me I am wrong.

I would argue that the changeover would have been easier for melbourne people despite their issues. They had multi mode flexibile ticketing and conductors for a long time prior to their new systems.
"KngtRider"


Hong Kong's Octopus was introduced to replace coin-boxes on buses and trams, plastic magnetic stripe tickets on the MTR and KCR, and token receptacles on the ferries. They did not pass through the Travelpass stage.

Where as us sydney people have been buying our tickets the same way forever, the only change being the actual physical medium of the ticket has changed. THe way we have bought it and the structure has largely not changed. Even the 1992 TVMs were kept as simple as possible, for a reason.
"KngtRider"


Opal will retain TVMs and gates. Instead of sticking a ticket into the gate, you wave your card over the reader. It's easier!

Just because we've been doing it since the dreamtime doesn't make it best practice. We have to change this archaic practice.

If there is a cash TVM people will still use that, the TVMs have been around for 20 years now so have the gates. If you have coins or cash on you, you can quickly and easily get a ticket from the TVM or Window in a matter of seconds.
"KngtRider"


Where have you been? TVMs will also now take EFTPOS. Hell, at major stations they have EFTPOS-only machines (as a result, I normally use EFTPOS to buy tickets simply because it allows me to bypass a line).

I've been lucky in that since TVM new I've only had my coins eaten once and that was only a few months ago and ended a 'good' day and like some of you i have commuted quite a bit up to several destination a day.
"KngtRider"


TVMs are better than vending machines.

I have old family members who still are afraid of the ticket barriers as they do not understand them fully or are afraid it will intentionally/uninentionally eat their ticket, let alone a cashless system that MAY need the internet or a 'complex' setup involving a bank account or debit/credit card for old people who may be paranoid or reluctant.
"KngtRider"


Cash TVMs will still be here. The gates won't be able to swallow any tickets because they won't go inside them. What you wave will not magically disappear.

I am not a fan of the CBD exclusive prepay only buses either. I can understand the need for it but I do not like the concept.
"KngtRider"


I like it very much. I can understand why you might dislike it, but I believe the decision was the right one. Paying cash fares makes everyone losers - boarding is slowed, fares are 25% more expensive.

Failing to have an integrated fare structure is a disgrace.  Adelaide had it sorted in the 1960s, and every other major jurisdiction in Australia and most of the rest of the world can do it.
"simonl"


Absolutely. The time has come to abandon the shackles of the old system.

God forbid that there should be any improvement to anything. Rolling Eyes
"simonl"


THIS

I imagine that expiry would only apply to concession cards, which logically need expiry.  I'd also imagine that the money can be refunded or transferred to another card.
"simonl"


I believe that is the Singapore approach. To prevent fraudulent use of concession EZ-Link, however, the concession card is a multipurpose card that serves as Student ID, proof of privilege of concession and concession ticket.

Opal offers us a solution to all out ticketing pains in one fell swoop. It's the perfect moment to move to a Singapore-style integrated network, with fairer fares to boot. Instead of standing at the newsagent wondering which bloody ticket to buy, all you have to do is top up and tap away.

I'm sorry, but the problem in this mess is 1) between election and election, and 2) between door and green machine.
  Speed Minister for Railways

I have old family members who still are afraid of the ticket barriers as they do not understand them fully or are afraid it will intentionally/uninentionally eat their ticket
"KngtRider"

An advantage of an RFID card over one that you insert into a machine is that it's always in your hand. It can never get swallowed or lost. It can never get jammed in the machine. If it gets soggy or wrinkled, it will still work as long as the circuitry isn't broken.

The worst thing that can happen is that it becomes unusable after you've put a lot of money on it.
  KngtRider Chief Commissioner

Location: http://www.nitroware.net
Where have you been? TVMs will also now take EFTPOS. Hell, at major stations they have EFTPOS-only machines (as a result, I normally use EFTPOS to buy tickets simply because it allows me to bypass a line).


I have seen the eftpos slot on TVMs but to be honest I never noticed if my home statation has it. I just checked the spec for my home station and cityrail website doesnt specifically say if the TVM has eftpos, just says station has eftpos

I know which button I press blindly and put my money in, I thought it was compulsory for any gunzel to be able to buy a ticket from a TVM without thinking or looking?

I only use eftpos if neccessary, almost every invoice posted on 'ozbargain' is someone paying for a low cost item by eftpos

"You may pay for your tickets at some ticket offices and some ticket vending machines by eftpos. For your convenience, there is no minimum purchase amount or surcharge for card transactions."

I thought there was and I have NEVER seen anyone buy a normal single/return via eftpos

I gather the impression you are satisfied with the current ticketing system. Please tell me I am wrong.


What do you reckon... Will be a sigh of releif when can change from mode to mode or no worry about exact change or breaking journey.

I am just saying the instruments in place are easy to use.

Note to those who replied to my comments, I would probably get a card on the first day they are avalible, that doesnt mean i have to accept every aspect no questions asked.

Some people who deal with tech almost 24x7 get sick of the complexity
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I have seen the eftpos slot on TVMs but to be honest I never noticed if my home statation has it. I just checked the spec for my home station and cityrail website doesnt specifically say if the TVM has eftpos, just says station has eftpos
"KngtRider"


As long as it has EFTPOS, it should be okay.

I know which button I press blindly and put my money in, I thought it was compulsory for any gunzel to be able to buy a ticket from a TVM without thinking or looking?
"KngtRider"


Well, I have to look to orient what to hit automatically, but our current system we've had since the dreamtime has multiple types of TVM - the big buttoned on, the big touchscreen one, the skinny one, the skinnt EFTPOS one...

I only use eftpos if neccessary, almost every invoice posted on 'ozbargain' is someone paying for a low cost item by eftpos

"You may pay for your tickets at some ticket offices and some ticket vending machines by eftpos. For your convenience, there is no minimum purchase amount or surcharge for card transactions."

I thought there was and I have NEVER seen anyone buy a normal single/return via eftpos
"KngtRider"


There is no surcharge for using EFTPOS on CityRail, and there should never be. Most places don't, but many shops have a minimum transaction before they will take EFTPOS. Thai Kee Supermarket in Market City near Central requires a minimum of $5 before they take EFTPOS (and demand photo ID for transactions over $100).

I have. I do it all the time.

What do you reckon... Will be a sigh of releif when can change from mode to mode or no worry about exact change or breaking journey.

I am just saying the instruments in place are easy to use.
"KngtRider"


Oh, definitely. It will be a godsend. But I dispute your claim that what we have is easy to use, and contend that Opal will be far easier. Like I said, top up and tap away.

Note to those who replied to my comments, I would probably get a card on the first day they are avalible, that doesnt mean i have to accept every aspect no questions asked.
"KngtRider"


You have the right, yes. Now that you've given a deeper reply, I'm beginning to see that you're not what I feared, which was a stubborn conservative wanting to keep the old. Opal will probably have flaws - this is NSW, remember - but I'm confident it'll be much better than what we have now, this endless variety of magnetic strip farecards that rivals the Edmondson ticket.

Some people who deal with tech almost 24x7 get sick of the complexity
"KngtRider"


In terms of the infrastructure, it will be more complex; but for the end user, the system should be much simpler.

Top up and tap away.



  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
They should make single use tickets that can be recycled and reused. In Singapore you get part of your fare back for recycling the ticket at the end of your journey.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
They should make single use tickets that can be recycled and reused. In Singapore you get part of your fare back for recycling the ticket at the end of your journey.
"fixitguy"


Yes, but to prevent excessive financial loss when the tickets are not returned, a SGD 1 deposit applies to every ticket, which can be claimed back from the TVMs.

Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur retain plastic magnetic tickets for singles, and those are recyclable. In fact, since rapidKL is so el cheapo they recycle their tickets until the plastic is physically so worn out it only vaguely resembles a ticket.
  piepants Chief Train Controller

Location: Newcastle
I hope CityRail do a better job than Metro did with myki
"Piepants"
Of course, MTR had nothing to do with Myki. Myki equipment was installed at all Melbourne stations before their Metro Trains consortium started running Melbourne's suburban network. Myki is the responsibility of the Transport Ticketing Authority, the Department of Transport or Public Transport Victoria.

There's plenty of protesting about Myki not supporting short-term tickets on the current Myki thread. Ask there if you want to know whether Myki short-term tickets are still available in cities surrounding Melbourne like Geelong and Seymour.  It was intended originally that Myki support short-term tickets throughout Victoria but they've been excluded from the project, at least for now, by the new government.
"Speed"


Ah right. I don't know a heck of a lot about how the Melbourne train system works, so I didn't realise that Metro and the ticketing authority were separate entities.

I would have done my research in that thread if I knew Myki didn't support short term tickets, but I'd only ever really travelled on the CityRail network before I went to Melbourne earlier this year, and assumed their ticketing system would be similar to CityRail's. Lesson learnt! Laughing
  boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
An interesting article posted on Bus Australia

NSW unveils “foundations” for integrated ticketing -

They just figured that out now, screens were installed in late march! (EDIT: just noticed its a uk website)

There is some information in this article though which I've bolded


Transport for NSW has installed new displays on ticket barriers at several Sydney railway stations, and says the new units “will set the right foundations for the introduction of Opal electronic ticketing."

The Reg spotted the new displays, pictured at right, when coming home from a long, hard, day in the content mines last Tuesday.

A Transport for NSW Spokesperson has since informed us that the new displays aren’t a sign that NSW’s long-promised-and-delayed integrated ticketing system is imminent. Instead, “The digital display screens are part of a wider upgrade to the CityRail gate system” that is taking place because “… in some cases, the processors are 15 years old.”

The new displays will offer a small improvement over their predecessors, if only because they are larger, brighter, and offer colour screens.

“The new display screens will help customers read the validity of their ticket with messages such as 'Ticket Captured',” the spokesperson said, adding that "North Ryde, Wynyard, St James, Museum, Central, North Sydney, Circular Quay and Town Hall have all been equipped with the new units.”

Your correspondent also passes through North Sydney quite regularly and the displays weren’t evident there yesterday.

All train station gates will receive the upgrade “over the next six months,” the spokesperson concluded.


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/10/nsw_new_ticket_barrier_display/
"kypros1992"
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
So what about the screens?

The readers are more important, as far as I'm concerned.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
So what about the screens?

The readers are more important, as far as I'm concerned.
"Watson374"


Baby steps. The old ticket gates are notoriously unreliable, take it from an ex-CSA - often one gate would reject a perfectly valid ticket for no reason, repeatedly. Despite explaining to a customer that everything *should* work properly, it would often just be one gate - using the same ticket at an adjacent gate would offer no problems. Following passengers would use the "troublesome" gate without issue. Valid tickets get rejected on the first go, accepted on the second.

An update to the gates to make them more reliable is very much what is required before you go slapping readers on them. How do you know the reader is functioning as it should if the gate is not? The reader might validate the ticket quite happily, but the actual processor in the gate might malfunction - what then?
  boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
So what about the screens?

The readers are more important, as far as I'm concerned.
"Watson374"


Yes, I like how the TNSW spokesman denied they were related to OPAL, despite having diagrams showing 'credit remaining' etc. on the Sydney Ferries page  Question
  Speed Minister for Railways

Another approach would be progressively to swap single ticket barriers for new ones. Upgrading the LCD displays is one thing. Upgrading the processors is another, and may be a precursor to installing Opal readers.

Sydney will then have the opportunity to use Frankenbarriers.
  boxythingy Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I never knew Padstow had ticket barriers, are they newly installed along with the screens?
  Keith1954 Junior Train Controller

Location: Macarthur


Yesterday (7th) St Leonards had there barries converted to have the box thing on top.  So the roll out is happening.

BY the way if OPAL can be like the Hong Kong system it will be great and as said the fare structure will have to havesome sort of overhaul.  There will be a lot of pain there.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Mmm, Petersham Station had the Opal "poles" installed this week too.

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