NSW public transport system to trial ‘tapping on’ with credit cards

Opal system to support credit card, debit card payments in 2017 trial

Commuters using New South Wales’ public transport system will be able to pay for journeys by tapping on and off with credit and debit cards, the state government announced today.

The government today said it will conduct a trial in 2017 of the technology, which will offer an alternative to paying with Opal cards.

“NSW is proud to be leading this Australian first,” NSW transport minister Andrew Constance said.

“Contactless payment with credit and debit cards would offer customers another easy to use and convenient option for travelling.

“Only a few major mass transit systems, similar in scale and complexity to Sydney’s, have introduced contactless payments. London’s Oyster card system is a well-known example, where they only finalised their rollout in late 2014.”

“A lot of critical work needs to be undertaken in the first stage of this project such as finalising partnerships, working with the finance and contactless payments sector, developing the software and then in 2017, undertaking a customer trial,” the minister said.

The announcement was made as part of the government’s Future Transport Summit.

The contactless payment option was one of a series of transport technology related announcements made today.

The state government said today that it had launched its Open Data Hub for transport data.

“By making real-time data sets freely available, the new Open Data Hub will pave the way for app developers across the world to meet a broader range of customer and business needs here in NSW,” Constance.

“We’ve already had huge success with our popular real-time apps. The applications for this transport data are endless and I can’t wait to see more creative thinking about technological solutions to meet the needs of our customers.”

The NSW government in 2013 ushered in an open data policy. Earlier this year the government conducted a public consultation on possible revisions to the policy.

The state government also revealed today that it was launching a ‘Smart Innovation Centre’ in Western Sydney. The existing Crashlab will the basis of the new centre. The Smart Innovation Centre will focus on transport-related R&D, including testing driverless vehicles.

Read more: Square Reader reaches Australia

The NSW parliament is currently conducting an inquiry into the potential benefits of driverless vehicles.

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