The use of credit and debit cards to pay for public transport in Australia has been expanded to New South Wales’ rail network following a trial on ferry and light rail services. Commuters can now “tap on and off” at the Opal reader with their Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit or debit card. Commuters can also use the digital wallet on their smartphone or smartwatch to replace how they use their Opal card.
The changes bring Sydney in line with other contactless payment methods in other international cities, such as London.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said contactless payments would make purchasing higher one-off fares a thing of the past for tourists and other occasional public transport users.
“It will be wonderful for tourists. It is absolute convenience and, of course, anyone visiting the city now can just pull out the credit card instead of chasing down an Opal card,” he said.
More than 235,000 trips have been taken in Sydney using contactless payments since the system was extended to all ferries and light rail in March this year, according to Cubic Transportation Systems, reports ZD Net.
More than 235,000 trips have been taken in Sydney using contactless payments since the system was extended to all ferries and light rail in March this year, Cubic said.
“Expanding contactless in Sydney is a game-changer for transport and represents one of the biggest advancements in ticketing technology in years,” CTS Asia-Pacific senior vice president and managing director Tom Walker said.
Cubic expects some of the contactless technology, software, and equipment developed for Sydney will also be included in Cubic projects to be rolled out over the next few years in cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco.
The State Government plans to expand the service to Sydney’s buses by mid-2019.