So far, so good - Transdev


A Sydney operator is quietly confident the Opal card will successfully rollout across the bus network

So far, so good - Transdev
So far, so good - Transdev

By Amie Hickland | September 30, 2013

Sydney’s first Opal card users had their first taste of the electronic ticketing system on buses today as the trial kicked off three months ahead of schedule.

The trial started today on the 594/594H route operated by Transdev NSW, between Hornsby, North Turramurra and Town Hall.

New South Wales Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian says this is fantastic news for public transport customers, as more people can now enjoy the convenience and benefits of using an Opal card.

"Customers are embracing the Opal card and I’m pleased the trial for buses can now begin on this selected route as we continue the steady rollout," she says.

The bus rollout is the most technically challenging mode because the electronic ticketing system needs to be constantly communicating with more than 5,000 buses.

If the rollout is successful, the Opal card will progress onto other services across the bus network by 2014.


"Tapping off buses will be a new behaviour for people to get used to, but this has been easily adopted by customers in cities like Brisbane and Perth," says Berejiklian.

"It is important to tap off so the distance travelled by the customer on the bus can be determined and the correct fare deducted from the balance of the Opal card."

Transdev General Manager Operations Len Kidd says the operation kicked off today and "so far, so good".

"We worked closely with Transport for New South Wales and they’ve given us lots of support," he says.

"This morning it all went off without a hitch."

Kidd says the Transport for NSW helped with training the drivers and has provided ongoing support.

Benefits to customers and drivers include convenience, less cash handling and a shorter loading time, according to Kidd.

CHANGES TO THE SYSTEM:

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Cheaper adult single bus fares of between two and five per cent

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An Opal Weekly Travel Reward, earned with eight paid journeys on buses, trains, ferries or light rail, making regular travel cheaper than a MyBus TravelTen

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Three distance based Opal fare bands – similar to the current MyBus fare bands though with lower prices than paper tickets

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A more customer-friendly bus-to-bus transfer fare system - if your transfer is made within 60 minutes, you will only be charged one fare corresponding to your whole bus journey, compared to two fares currently with paper tickets on buses


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