New South Wales has completed the rollout of contactless payment via card and mobile device across Sydney’s public transport system.
The state government in mid-2017 launched a trial of contactless payments for the Opal network, beginning with a single ferry. The system allows the use of Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards as an alternative to an Opal cards or single-use tickets.
According to Cubic, whose Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division operates the Opal smartcard, NSW is home to the world’s largest contactless system, covering 40,000 square kilometres.
So far, 1.4 million credit and debit cards have been used to travel on the system. Nine million contactless journeys have been undertaken since 2017, according to Cubic.
The NSW government said that from today, contactless payments would be supported on the Bondi Link bus service.
“This achievement marks the final piece of the contactless payments puzzle,” said the state’s transport minister, Andrew Constance.
In addition to buses, contactless payments can be used for trains, ferries, light rail and Metro services.
The system relies on payment infrastructure built by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. CBA also acts as the acquirer and back-end processor of card transactions on the Opal network.
“We are now traveling down an exciting new path towards frictionless end-to-end journeys with just one payment for both private and public transport,” said Tom Walker, CTS senior vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific.
“Contactless is moving Australia towards what we would call ‘transport nirvana’ – allowing commuters to access a seamless, integrated multi-state transport network with no prior knowledge of the local ticketing systems.”
Cubic is now working to roll out support for contactless payment on Queensland public transport.
In August 2018 the company also revealed it had scored a $50 million contract to build “an advanced multi modal transport platform” that will replace Sydney’s current traffic management system.