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Transport for New South Wales opens up its Opal payments system to privately-operated transport services

Transport for New South Wales opens up its Opal payments system to privately-operated transport services

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), the statutory
authority of the New South Wales (NSW) Government which manages the transport
services in the state of NSW, Australia, has opened up its Opal system to third
party private operators, through OpalPay. This
will enable passengers to use the Opal card to pay for trips on routes operated
by private operators. (However, OpalPay fares are not the same as standard Opal
fares. Fares are set by the operators.)

Opal cards
are smartcard tickets that people can keep, reload and reuse to pay for travel
on public transport. The Opal network includes train, bus, ferry and light rail
services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and
Southern Highlands.

Cubic
Transportation Systems
 (CTS), which designed,
installed and operated
the Opal card system, has been working
closely with TfNSW
to develop Application Programming Interfaces
(APIs) that enable third parties to connect to the Opal system so that journeys
can be paid for using the Opal card.

The open APIs allow other companies using their own
terminals and equipment to connect to the Opal payments system. This allows
them to simplify their operations, reduce operating costs and provide a quick
and convenient way for commuters to pay for travel across a range of
transportation modes.

The Manly Fast Ferry (My Fast Ferry) is the first
operator to offer OpalPay
, and My Fast Ferry customers will be able to
take advantage of OpalPay on routes between Manly and Circular Quay. My Fast Ferry,
a privately-owned fleet operator independent from the TfNSW’s Manly Ferry
service that is part of the existing Opal system, will now have an expanded
range of ticketing options available to commuters, with the Opal card serving
as another form of payment. Opal card holders will be able to simply tap onto
the service using the existing smart card ticketing installed on the fast ferry
fleet.

“This is an extremely significant step in the evolution of
the Opal card system and we are delighted that the Manly Fast Ferry service is
the first in New South Wales to adopt Cubic’s open Application
Programming Interfaces (APIs), which will pave the way for other third
parties to leverage the Opal payments platform. The Opal card has now evolved
into a single payment card for mobility, with potential future applications
across other modes of transportation in New South Wales, including rideshare,” said
Tom Walker, senior vice president and managing director of CTS Asia-Pacific.

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: Hpeterswald/ CC BY-SA 3.0

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