Bankstown Public School: School Opal card CFT – Introduction letter to parents and guardians →

Bankstown Public School seem to be the first (of a few?) schools that will be trialling the ‘Student’ Opal card, a replacement for the old (‘SSTS‘) passes provided to students for free travel.

The student Opal card is anticipated to be ‘blue‘, joining the Adult card in Black, Child card in Green, Concession card in Grey/Silver, and the Pensioner/Senior card in Gold.

Bankstown Public School, September 18 2015;

Dear Parents and Carers,
We are pleased to let you know, that our school has been selected by Transport for NSW to take part in the School Opal card Customer Field Trial, before the full launch of the card to the public.

The School Opal card will make travel on public transport easy. It’s a single card for travel to and from school on your child’s approved mode of transport in the Opal network, replacing the current variety of SSTS single mode train, bus and ferry paper passes.

During the Customer Field Trial, you will be asked to complete the School Opal card application process on behalf of your child. Your child will be asked to use the School Opal card when travelling to and from school, remembering to Tap On and Tap Off for each journey. The Customer Field Trial will also involve providing feedback across each of the three review stages of the School Opal card journey throughout term 4 2015.

Feedback will be conducted via online surveys that will be emailed to you and should only take a few minutes to complete:

  • Survey 1 – feedback on the application process for the School Opal card. This will take place early in term 4.
  • Survey 2 – feedback on the delivery of the School Opal card. This will take place mid way through term 4.
  • Survey 3 – 4 x feedback surveys on your child’s experience of using the School Opal card. These surveys will take place between the middle and end of term 4.

We also welcome your feedback at any point in addition to these phases.

If you would like your child to take part, please complete the registration form by clicking on the link below. Please note that if you have more than one child at school, we ask you to nominate one child.
http://bit.ly/1UU5Rka

The field trial and survey will be conducted by a company called Woolcott Research and Engagement, a reputable market research company that is working on behalf of Transport for NSW.

If you have any questions regarding the School Opal card please contact Transport for NSW on (02) 8265 7115 or email: CFT@transport.nsw.gov.au. If you have any questions about the registration form or feedback surveys please contact Andrew from Woolcott Research and Engagement on (02) 9261 5221.

AFR: Train-loving Turnbull not a Melbourne Myki man, backs Sydney’s Opal →

Patrick Durkin, Australian Financial Review, 16/09/2015:

Our public-transport loving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a swipe at Victoria’s much-maligned Myki card, telling his first press conference as PM that he prefers Sydney’s Opal card.

While Tony Abbott always polled badly in Victoria, Mr Turnbull will endear himself to the southern state by joining Melburnians’ pastime of bemoaning the frustrating public transport ticketing system.

“I’m as passionate about water as I am about technology or indeed the NSW Opal card … or the Myki card, I think Opal is better actually, more functionality,” Turnbull quipped while flanked by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Mr Turnbull is is well known for using public transport and tweeting about it on social media. He even made headlines after taking the train to Geelong following Bronwyn Bishop’s infamous $5000 chopper ride to a Liberal Party fundraiser in Geelong.

Mr Andrews planned to use his visit to Canberra to lean on Mr Turnbull’s love of public-transport to prize open the $3 billion “locked box” for the dumped East West Link road and argue it should be applied to Labor’s vaunted $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail project. “He’s an undoubted fan [of public transport],” Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.

The Sydney-Melbourne rivalry was renewed last month following the Big V’s $20 million rebrand and new slogan “the best of everything“. “*offer excludes harbour, infrastructure and sunshine,” Mr Baird tweeted. Mr Andrews tweeted back, “You’re just grumpy because you haven’t had a decent coffee since you were last in Melbourne!”

Despite his public transport credentials, Turnbull has some way to go to convince the everyday punters he also gets the game of AFL, much-loved in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

“I have to confess I vote for, I support, in Australian Rules the Roosters, who of course aren’t in the grand final – sorry the Swans,” Turnbull told Radio National when asked back in 2008.

TfNSW: Opal has arrived for apprentices, trainees and eligible TAFE students →

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance and Minister for Skills John Barilaro today announced eligible NSW apprentices and trainees can now access all-day cheaper fares on public transport as the Concession Opal card is rolled out to thousands more customers.

From today, eligible apprentices, trainees and TAFE NSW students can now apply online for a Concession Opal card.

“Apprentices and trainees are currently only able to access concession fares when travelling between their home, workplace and place of training, but from today we’re lifting those restrictions,” Minister Constance said.

“These customers can now apply for a Concession Opal card and there will be no travel restrictions and no need for paper tickets. They will be able to access the concession fare for travel at any time on the public transport system plus access Opal benefits.”

Transport for NSW is also posting letters out to apprentices and trainees, inviting them to apply for a concession Opal card, and even including the relevant number used to confirm eligibility making it as easy as possible.

Transport for NSW Letter to Apprentices and Trainees about Concession Opal card

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)