Nine News Sydney: Opal Card users could be overcharged →

Tonight’s Nine News Sydney had a segment on the number of Opal card users and their default fares.

Between August 2014 and October 2014, customers were ‘overcharged’ 1,205,556 times, with fares worth $6,228,928. By ‘overcharged’, they mean copped a default fare.

In October 2014, customers incurred 508,067 default fares.

From this, than 6% of default fares become enquiries for refunds.

According to the Transport Minister, more than 135 million trips have been taken with the Opal card, with the percentage of default fares across all modes being 1-2%.

Nine News Sydney reports that the default fare percentage on buses can be up to 5%.

And then you have people like this…. tapping on at the gate next to you.

Opal Card Wrong Gate

Meanwhile, tonight’s story explains the post on the Transport for NSW Facebook page about what to do if you forget to tap off..

TfNSW/ePay denying new Opal card retailer applications →

According to the Newsagents Association of NSW & ACT, ePay are now denying new applicants who wish to become Opal card retailers. There are currently just over 1,800 retailers, including every 7Eleven, a handful of Woolworths stores, and an assortment of newsagents and other outlets,

Newsagents across NSW who have recently submitted applications to become Opal Card Retailers via Epay Australia have been denied and/or placed on a waiting list.

Epay Australia have confirmed that they have reached their quota and will work with Transport NSW to assess applications on a case by case basis.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out, with the announcement of separate Opal vending machines this year (starting with top up only machines).

Hopefully this is only a minor break before continuing with bringing more retailers onboard, as 1800 sure seems like an arbitrary number…

The Leader: Sutherland station ticket window to close daily at 1.30pm →

The ticket office at Sutherland railway station, one of the busiest on the Illawarra line, will close each day from 1.30pm from next Monday as effects of the Opal card introduction flow through the system.

Seems like Transport for NSW is finally taking staff from behind the ticket window in the office and putting them out on the concourse. Does this mean they’re simply now Customer Service Attendants (CSA)?

A Sydney Trains spokeswoman said more than 85 per cent of people travelling by train to or from the CBD used Opal cards instead of paper tickets. As a result, there was far less demand for paper tickets bought from ticket windows.

“Sydney Trains is ensuring staff are visible and accessible to customers by ensuring they spend more time on platforms and less time in offices,” she said. “Sutherland station is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Daily Telegraph: Jump-proof barriers: The gates are shutting on Sydney train fare cheats →

The first set of the jump-proof London Underground-style barriers is now undergoing technical trials at Olympic Park station.

This exclusive photograph shows the E2 gate with its two chest-high paddles making it virtually impossible for a fare evader to leap over the barrier. They are also designed to stop fare dodgers “tailgating” other passengers through the gate.

Terry Young tries the new jump- proof barriers / Picture: John Fotiadis