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…

AFR: Seventy two fines heap pressure on UberX →

Seventy two fines heap pressure on UberX<br /><br /><br /><br /> Rogue hire car driver Russell Howarth enacted eight ­citizens arrests against UberX drivers during the past week. Photo: Steven Siewert

Australian Financial Review, 29th November 2014

NSW transport officials are cracking down on illegal ride-sharing operation UberX after months of see­ming inaction and regulatory confusion.

Seventy-two UberX drivers caught up in an undercover operation by NSW Roads and Maritime Services officials received fines of $2500 this week for ­offering hire care services illegally.

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AFR: Howard Collins’s great train adventure →

Howard Collins

Eighteen months into the job, Howard Collins is clear-eyed about the slog ahead. Fixing ­Sydney rail will take billions of dollars and five to 10 years, he says.

CHARIS PERKINS, Australian Financial Review, 1st November 2014

Howard Collins “the Tube man”, as ­London mayor Boris Johnson called him, counts himself a lucky man. After 35 years with London Transport, he is delighted to wake up each morning in his house overlooking the sea in the south Sydney suburb of Woolooware – bought in blithe defiance of the city’s postcode snobbery – and catch an early train to Central.

And neither union battles, nor early criticism of his $500,000-plus salary, nor the ­gargantuan challenge of dragging Sydney’s antiquated railways into the 21st century can spoil his enthusiasm. At that stage in a solid career, when some might begin ticking off the years to retirement, the chief ­executive of Sydney Trains is a man ­invigorated by a new adventure.

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