Goodbye Opal, hello credit card: Sydney transport goes contactless


Alex Ritchie

Alex Ritchie

( 2 min read )

Sydney commuters can now “tap on and off” with their credit card, debit card or mobile device on all government-owned ferry and light rail services.

The move will apply for Adult Opal single trip ticket fares as part of a nine-month contactless transport payments trial by Transport for NSW.

NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, said of the trial that there was “overwhelmingly positive customer feedback.”

“In NSW we know transport is no longer just about infrastructure but also about embracing technology to provide the best services possible for our customers. 

“The integration of contactless transport payments into the Opal ticketing system makes the purchasing of one-off fares quick, easy and seamless, providing choice and convenience to customers,” Mr Constance said.

The move will be a great relief to Sydneysiders who have tried to travel but have forgotten their Opal card, forgotten to top up or don’t travel regularly.

It’s worth keeping in mind that ferry and light rail users will be charged a full single-trip fare, meaning they miss out on discounts offered when using an Opal card.

Commonwealth Bank has developed “core payment infrastructure” for the trial, allowing customers to use their credit card, debit card, mobile phone or device, such as a tablet or smart watch, to “tap on and off”.

Executive General Manager of Cash-flow and Transaction Services at Commonwealth Bank, Michael Eidel, said cities and public transport authorities across Australia are “taking greater interest in the value this payments technology can deliver for both customers and transport providers alike”. 

“Sydneysiders and visitors can now easily jump on a Sydney Ferries service or the light rail by simply tapping their bank card or mobile phone without the need to wait in queues now that we’ve integrated payments technology with travel. 

“This payments solution helps to improve security and optimise operational costs.  

“We have a strong track record of innovating with the NSW Government and are proud to improve the delivery of services to the people and communities of NSW,” Mr Eidel said.

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