TfNSW: Fare dodgers to face new hurdles at ticket gates →

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance today announced the next stage in the rollout of ‘jump-proof’ ticket barriers at train stations with the installation of six new gates at Bankstown Station.

The Opal-only gates help to reduce fare evasion with higher gate paddles making it much harder for people to jump over them.

They look a little like this:

Opal only gates Bankstown Station

ePay: Opal – Fast, Easy & In Demand

(article as featured in ePay World May 2015)

ePay Opal Card

Two and a half million cards issued and rising, 1800 retailers and growing – the signs definitely suggest the public, as well as retailers, have taken to the Opal card in a big way.

That distinctive ‘ding’, as the machine reads the tap on or off of yet another traveller’s Opal card, is becoming a sound as synonymous with Sydney as the squawk of a cockatoo or the honk of horns at rush hour.

It’s now the transport ticket of choice for the majority of Sydneysiders, even surpassing paper tickets – which will eventually be phased out in favour of the Opal card. It’s also just been rolled out across the Sydney Light Rail service, meaning travellers can use their Opal card across the entire public transport network from Bathurst to Bondi and Dungog to Bomaderry.

Former NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian was, not surprisingly, glowing at the uptake of Opal by people in NSW and by travellers to the state.

ePay Opal Card ePay Opal Card

“It’s great to see so many customers embracing Opal and enjoying the benefits of cheaper and convenient travel. To be at two million Opal cards at this stage of the rollout is phenomenal,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“From Penrith, Panania, Newcastle and Kiama – no-matter where I go people tell me how much they love Opal.”

ePay4 ePay5

The rollout of the Opal card has also been extended to full time tertiary students, meaning tens of thousands of new customers can now apply for cheaper and more convenient travel.

Seven tertiary institutions have now gone live with the concession Opal card, with eligible students from the University of Sydney, University of NSW, University of Notre Dame, Australian Catholic University, The University of Wollongong, Macquarie University and Navitas English already able to apply for their Opal card.

“Eventually more than 250,000 tertiary students will be able to apply for the Concession Opal card and get a 50 per cent discount on the already cheaper Adult Opal fares for trains, buses, light rail and Sydney Ferries,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Opal sites are prioritised based on location, but if you are interested in becoming a possible future site, you can call customer service on 1300 301 408 or email epaysupport@epayaust.com.au.


Nick Theos Lucky Charm

Nick Theos’ Lucky Charm store is enviably placed when it comes to Opal card retailers. He is situated mere metres from one of the busiest public transport hubs in Sydney – Town Hall Station.

“On average we do an Opal recharge every 30 seconds,” Nick said. “In rush hour, it could be up to three or four a minute, and we can do 500-600 a day.”

Those numbers seem phenomenal, and with a return of 2.5 percent for every transaction, the benefits start to add up.

“It does bring more people to the store and that is an opportunity for us to sell them other things and receive impulse purchase.”

The Lucky Charm store, in the lower ground level of the Queen Victoria Building, was one of the first retailers to be granted the right to sell Opal after being included in an initial trial period over a year ago.


(article as featured in ePay World May 2015)

TfNSW: Time to tap into Opal – majority of paper tickets to be phased out →

The retirement of paper tickets continues, with pretty much every paper ticket being withdrawn from sale as of next year.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said: “Given the enormous success of Opal, it’s time to stop running two ticketing systems.

“Opal is one of the great improvements to our public transport network, and it’s the right time we take the next logical step to one convenient system,” Mr Constance said.
From January 1, 57 paper ticket products will no longer be sold. Customers should start preparing now to upgrade to Opal, so getting around is simpler and cheaper.

The next stage of Opal means customers will only be able to purchase adult and concession single or return tickets for trains, ferries, light rail plus singles for buses.

To give customers more of a prod, opal.com.au has a pretty good summary of how ‘unpopular’ paper tickets are becoming;

We know that customers love their Opal cards. There are now more than 3,300,000 cards issued and the number grows steadily every week.

At the same time, there has been a significant fall in the number of paper tickets being sold. For example:

  • Nearly 80% fall in sales of the MyBus TravelTen over the past 12 months
  • 89% fall in sales of the Adult and Concession MyMulti tickets over the past 12 months
  • Almost 50% fall in sales of the Pensioner Excursion Tickets over the past 12 months
  • 72% fall in sales for the Light Rail Weekly over the past 12 months
  • 94% fall in sales of the MyFerry TravelTen in the past 12 months
  • Almost 70 per cent of all public transport trips are now with Opal
Figures: Bureau of Transport Statistics as at May 2014 – May 2015