Home Strategy Sydney contactless ticketing system trial expanded

Sydney contactless ticketing system trial expanded

The trial of an open payment contactless ticketing system is to be expanded across the entire Sydney ferry and light rail network by Cubic Transportation Systems and Transport for New South Wales.

The trial was introduced to bring contactless ticketing into Australia.

To date, more than 15,000 passengers have used their Mastercards to tap on and pay for travel across Sydney Harbour since the trial began on the Manly Ferry service in July 2017.

And with the contactless trial extension, customers will now also be able to use American Express and Visa cards to pay for their travel.

“In New South Wales, we know transport is no longer just about infrastructure but also about embracing technology to provide the best services possible for our customers,” said NSW transport minister Andrew Constance.

“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.”   

Tom Walker, senior vice-president and managing director of CTS Asia-Pacific, said the trial had been a very important test for this “complex new technology and we are delighted that contactless will now be expanded further”.

According to CTS, contactless ticketing promises to bring major benefits for both consumers and operators, and the trial has demonstrated that the technology Cubic pioneered with Transport for London can be adapted to fit Australia’s unique environmental and regulatory conditions. Across London, more than 2.1 million journeys are now made using contactless ticketing on its bus, Tube and rail services every day.

CTS says open payment will not replace Opal, which is now used by nearly 14 million people a week, but will provide freedom of choice when it comes to paying for travel.

“Australians are keen adapters of technology and we expect to see a rapid adoption of contactless ticketing here,” said Walker.

“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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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).