Transport for NSW has contracted Opal system developer Cubic Transportation to design, build and operate a contactless bank card solution for public transport ticketing.
Cubic designed the technology used in the Opal tap-and-go ticketing system used on the Greater Sydney transport network.
Contactless ticketing systems like Opal have been taken a step further in cities like London, to allow commuters to use their debit or credit cards to pay for transport in the same way they would use a contactless card like Opal.
The $10.2 million deal, announced on December 16, will see Cubic Transportation – whose technology is used in London’s Oyster system – develop such a technology integrated into the Opal network.
Transport for NSW said Cubic will be aiming to deliver a customer trial in 2017.
The state department said the technology would be designed as an “add-on” to “enhance” the Opal system.
“The customer trial will be a practical example of how Transport is shaping the most customer-centric, innovative, digitally-enabled transportation system in Australia,” TfNSW said.
“Only a few major mass transit systems similar in scale and complexity to Sydney’s have introduced contactless transport fare payments.
“London’s Oyster card system is a well-known example and that is where Cubic gained their experience to now offer Transport a solution which will underpin the customer trial next year.”
TfNSW said it is also in discussions with banks and credit card payment schemes to finalise their participation in the customer trial.
“This is the first time in Australia that these financial institutions have been directly involved in contactless transport payments and they are determining their interest, role and position.
“A lot of critical work needs to be undertaken to get to the customer trial stage such as finalising all the partnerships, working with the finance and contactless payments sector, and developing the software for our needs and getting it into the Opal system.”