Wednesday 19th Dec, 2018

Bank card payments added to Sydney’s light rail, ferries

Photo: Cubic Transportation Systems

Contactless bank card payments have been enabled for all ferry and light rail passengers in Sydney, after a successful trial took place on the Manly Ferry service over the last eight months.

The addition of bank card payments to the existing contactless Opal ticketing system is the next step in Transport for NSW’s program to bring the Sydney bus, ferry and rail networks up to best practice in ticketing.

More than 15,000 passengers took part in a Mastercard-only trial on the Manly Ferry starting in July last year. Now proven, the technology has this week been expanded to the entire ferry network and light rail network, and Visa and American Express payment options have also been added.

“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,” transport minister Andrew Constance said.

“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.”

“The trial has been a very important test for the complex new technology,” added Tom Walker, senior vice president for the technology firm leading the effort, Cubic Transportation Systems. “We are delighted that contactless will now be expanded further.”

Cubic led the development of London’s contactless ticketing scheme, which allows the use of bank cards as well as the city’s Oyster card.

The ability to use bank cards on public transport is not designed to entirely replace Opal cards; the contactless ticket cards will still offer passengers perks like weekly travel discounts, which won’t be available for passengers using bank cards.

“Australians are keen adapters of technology and we expect to see a rapid adoption of contactless here,” Walker said. “In addition, Cubic is continually evolving Opal to take advantage of best-of-breed technology developments that the company is investing in and deploying around the world.”

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