Opal launch date set in stone


The eagerly awaited Opal card ticketing system for NSW will begin a trial in early December

November
26, 2012


The
Opal card ticketing system will kick off with a trial in early December, according to NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

In a statement today, Berejiklian says the Opal card will launch with a customer trial from December 7 on the Neutral Bay ferry route.

She says the system will then be rolled out until 2015 for all Sydney bus, ferry, train, and light rail customers.

"The Opal card will transform the way people get around, making public transport more convenient and seeing the end of ticket queues and fumbling for coins," Berejiklian says.

But she says the roll out is complex and the government is
taking
its time.

"We
have learned from overseas that progressive roll outs work best and we expect there may be some hiccups along the way,"
Berejiklian says.

Public transport customers using the Opal card will be able to tap on at the start of their trip on each mode and tap off at the end, with the Opal card working much like an e-tag.

The Opal card is expected to be available for all Sydney
ferry customers, at more than 40 wharves from Parramatta to Manly, by the end of next year, with the roll out to trains starting on the City Circle in the second half of 2013.

Ongoing fares for the Opal card will be detailed next year following the ferry trial, but Berejiklian announced three key incentives will be in place to encourage uptake of the Opal card and greater public transport use.

The incentives include:

  • A weekly reward providing free travel after eight paid journeys in a week – a customer using their Opal card paying for two journeys a day to and from work from Monday to Thursday will be eligible for unlimited free travel on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • A $2.50 daily cap on Sundays for Opal card customers
  • A daily travel cap of $15 from Monday to Saturday.

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