Opal card questions

 
  gorgeo Beginner

I have a few questions about the new Opal card.


  • Currently Opal card is available for purchase online. Are they going to sell it through the ticket counters in train stations or is it always going to be sold online? I was wondering if this will make travellers hard to buy the card. If someone is visiting Sydney for a week, then buying the card online isn't going to make things easier for them as they will have to wait for the card to be delivered.

  • The current minimum amount is $40 when you purchase the card online. Is it going to change in the future with lesser amount? For infrequent travellers, $40 may not be necessary on each top-up.

  • Just out of curiosity, with the rollout of the Opal card system, are the transit officers going out of jobs? Now there is no way to check the validity of your ticket.

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  viaprojects Assistant Commissioner

1 - you don't need an opel card - we still have the paper ticket options including weekly options.

2 - opel is just a pre paid card for transport - it's just another way to pay for a ticket.

3a - are the transit officers going out of jobs ? NO  

3b - transit officers are at the gates of stations checking tickets.  forget to tag on/off you will pay.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Can the ticket inspectors read your Opal card (using some gadget) to see if you have logged on/off correctly?
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Can the ticket inspectors read your Opal card (using some gadget) to see if you have logged on/off correctly?
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The new LRV extension from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill does NOT use Opal cards.
  gorgeo Beginner

1 - you don't need an opel card - we still have the paper ticket options including weekly options.

2 - opel is just a pre paid card for transport - it's just another way to pay for a ticket.

3a - are the transit officers going out of jobs ? NO

3b - transit officers are at the gates of stations checking tickets. forget to tag on/off you will pay.
viaprojects

No I am talking about after the rollout. Will the Opal cards become available to purchase from the station? I couldn't find this info from the transportnsw website.

About the transit officers, well if you tag on but forget to tag off, then you pay a higher rate. Isn't that how Opal works? Then what's the use of transit officers?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
No I am talking about after the rollout. Will the Opal cards become available to purchase from the station? I couldn't find this info from the transportnsw website.

About the transit officers, well if you tag on but forget to tag off, then you pay a higher rate. Isn't that how Opal works? Then what's the use of transit officers?
gorgeo

Opal cards will probably be available for purchase from a station or from other retail outlets.  But it isn't a priority now.  

One of the aims of Opal is to reduce the transaction cost associated with paying a fare - online sales and automatic top-ups are all part of that.  Another aim of Opal is to reduce the hassle for the user associated with paying a fare - automatic top-ups are again a part of that.

Transit Officers will be able to (if they can't already - I think I've seen reports of people having their card checked) check your Opal card to make sure you've tapped on.   Transit Officers today have a role beyond revenue protection.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
More high tech gear to maintain, a future burden to the taxpayer.
How much did all of this cost?
  matthewg Train Controller

Transit Officers will be able to (if they can't already - I think I've seen reports of people having their card checked) check your Opal card to make sure you've tapped on. Transit Officers today have a role beyond revenue protection.
donttellmywife


The TOs are issued with Opal readers that tell them things about the card, which can include looking at the 8 last transactions the card made.
The Opal privacy policy specifically mentions that 'authorised officers' can see the last 8 uses of the card.

I've personally seen several features demoed (on my card) including last tap on (location and time), balance and the 'low balance top up trigger' amount.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Don't they relize todays youth will vandal these?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Don't they relize todays youth will vandal these?
Junction box

I'm sure they do realise there is a chance of that.

The readers, with no external moving parts, are a lot more vandal resistant than the previous infrastructure.  They are easy enough to replace too - just look at how quickly the readers were mounted onto the previously installed pole infrastructure.
  sydneytwains Station Master

Scenario 1.
I get on at station A. I tag on.
I pass thru station B without tagging off because I want to travel to station C. But due to trackwork and buses. Bus drops me off in the street.
I then need to tag off at station C that is closed due to trackwork. (Bus is a private contractor and no opal device).
Inconvenient!  Officially I would need to walk to opal device to tag off or get charged the maximum fare.

Scenario 2.
I forget to tag on at a non gated station. I exit a gated station.
Opal says you have already tagged off from the previous journey the day before for example. Barrier gate does not open. See attendant.
Attendant has no opal card reader or way of fixing issue.
  sydneytwains Station Master

Scenario 1.
I get on at station A. I tag on.
I pass thru station B without tagging off because I want to travel to station C. But due to trackwork and buses. Bus drops me off in the street.
I then need to tag off at station C that is closed due to trackwork. (Bus is a private contractor and no opal device).
Inconvenient!  Officially I would need to walk to opal device to tag off or get charged the maximum fare.

Scenario 2.
I forget to tag on at a non gated station. I exit a gated station.
Opal says you have already tagged off from the previous journey the day before for example. Barrier gate does not open. See attendant.
Attendant has no opal card reader or way of fixing issue.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Scenario 1.
I get on at station A. I tag on.
I pass thru station B without tagging off because I want to travel to station C. But due to trackwork and buses. Bus drops me off in the street.
I then need to tag off at station C that is closed due to trackwork. (Bus is a private contractor and no opal device).
Inconvenient! Officially I would need to walk to opal device to tag off or get charged the maximum fare.
sydneytwains

Most likely - you are directed to tag off at station B prior to catching bus.  No one in officialdom actually cares that you don't formally have a ticket from B to C (noting that there are exceptions in the ticketing rules around ticketing equipment being unavailable that probably excuse you anyway).

-- or --

You ring up the Opal people and say "I caught the train and the replacement bus from A to C.  I couldn't tag off."  They say "No worries - we fixed it up manually."

Scenario 2.
I forget to tag on at a non gated station. I exit a gated station.
Opal says you have already tagged off from the previous journey the day before for example. Barrier gate does not open. See attendant.
Attendant has no opal card reader or way of fixing issue.

You ring up the Opal people and say "Oops - i forgot to tag on at XYZ but then tried to tag off at ABC."  They say "No worries - we fixed it up manually."

-- or --

Attendant says "that was a bit silly - promise you won't do it again and I'll just let you through here..."
  KngtRider Chief Commissioner

Location: http://www.nitroware.net
Current Scenario:

I buy a return paper ticket which is valid until 4am. I am out in the city (or inner suburbs) until late (early). I use my return paper ticket to get home using a Nightride bus.

Versus

Scenario 3:

I Carry an Opal card and no small change as the Opal ticket is supposed to replace the need to carry small change.
Nightride buses have no Opal readers according to the official docs (not verified yet).

Without change to pay for a one way ticket and no way to verify if I have a current and valid OPAL card, how do I get home? Bus driver may not be able to break large notes and having to ask others for change is not always practical.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Scenario 2.
I forget to tag on at a non gated station. I exit a gated station.
Opal says you have already tagged off from the previous journey the day before for example. Barrier gate does not open. See attendant.
Attendant has no opal card reader or way of fixing issue.
sydneytwains

Nope, you will be allowed to exit and charged the default fare, and the following will appear on your statement:

"No Tap on to Central"

(which is what appears on mine when I travelled from Katoomba to Central and then could not find my ticket. I was in a hurry, so just used Opal to get out of there in a hurry. I found my ticket 20 minutes later).

Dave
  matthewg Train Controller

Scenario 1.
I get on at station A. I tag on.
I pass thru station B without tagging off because I want to travel to station C. But due to trackwork and buses. Bus drops me off in the street.
sydneytwains

That's actually an FAQ on the Opal web site.

Although the answer isn't particularly useful,

'If a replacement bus is not enabled for Opal, you should show your Opal card to the driver when boarding.'

This is implying that eventually the track work buses will be Opal enabled and the system will just 'work it out'.
  matthewg Train Controller


I Carry an Opal card and no small change as the Opal ticket is supposed to replace the need to carry small change. Nightride buses have no Opal readers according to the official docs (not verified yet).

Without change to pay for a one way ticket and no way to verify if I have a current and valid OPAL card, how do I get home? Bus driver may not be able to break large notes and having to ask others for change is not always practical.
KngtRider


You walk home. Again this is an Opal FAQ. Opal is not valid on Night Ride, if you can't pay the bus fare, walk. In practice I don't think the bus driver will care and you will just get waved on.

--
NightRide bus services operate after the last train service at night.  At the moment you can’t use your Opal card on NightRide bus services.  You will need to purchase a single ticket from the driver, or use one of several paper tickets.
For information about the paper tickets accepted on NightRide services, please visit transportnsw.info
--
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Scenario 1:
Well you should have tagged off at B and are liable to pay the default fare.  You may be able to convince Opal support to charge a lesser fare though.

Scenario 2:
While you'll get out of the station for a default fare, as thedocta says, you are liable to be fined for fare evasion if caught.  Count the default fare as a bargain.
  sydneytwains Station Master

Today I watched a young gentlemen tag off or attempt to tag off at a wide gate that was open from a previous user exiting in peak hour.
No big deal you say?
He failed to realize the card was not read as he exited on first tap.
His downfall was he had headphones on and did not hear the bling, ding sound. But I seen the red gate screen.
Result: maximum fare charged!
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Today I watched a young gentlemen tag off or attempt to tag off at a wide gate that was open from a previous user exiting in peak hour.
No big deal you say?
He failed to realize the card was not read as he exited on first tap.
His downfall was he had headphones on and did not hear the bling, ding sound. But I seen the red gate screen.
Result: maximum fare charged!
sydneytwains

Excellent.  The system is desperately short of funding - the more that can be raised this way the better.

(The charge is the default fare, not the maximum fare.)
  matthewg Train Controller

Today I watched a young gentlemen tag off or attempt to tag off at a wide gate that was open from a previous user exiting in peak hour.
No big deal you say?
He failed to realize the card was not read as he exited on first tap.
His downfall was he had headphones on and did not hear the bling, ding sound. But I seen the red gate screen.
Result: maximum fare charged!
sydneytwains


There appears to be a design flaw with the wide gates - it won't recognise a card if it's open.

The system doesn't seem to be able to enable both pads at the same time, so for the bidirectional wide gates it cycles back and forth, switching sides every couple of seconds. Mildly annoying but if you just put your card on it and wait, it will read.

However when the gate is open, it starts cycling several times per second making it impossible to get a card read.
  sydneytwains Station Master

I think you could be wrong. I have seen gated stations after hours when all the red barrier arms are open.
The screen on top reads in grey "opal cards only" customers can still tag off/on.
  Blackadder Chief Commissioner

Location: Not the ECRL
I think you could be wrong. I have seen gated stations after hours when all the red barrier arms are open.
The screen on top reads in grey "opal cards only" customers can still tag off/on.
sydneytwains

Correct, if gates are left open (eg  After hours) you can still tap on/off.
  matthewg Train Controller

I think you could be wrong. I have seen gated stations after hours when all the red barrier arms are open.
The screen on top reads in grey "opal cards only" customers can still tag off/on.
sydneytwains

This mode appears to have different effects to the Opal pads to if a wide gate is opened remotely by a member of staff.

They probably go to a 'slow' cycle back and forth when the gates are open at a closed station. The Opal pads work then, just slower as you have to leave the ticket there till it cycles back to your side.

I observed a rapid cycling back and forth on a wide gate that had been manually opened by a staff member trying to be helpful. The rapid cycling prevented my card from reading.

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