Sydney commuters can now tap-and-go the whole way around the city (and on all NSW trains) with only a bank card or contactless-enabled mobile device in their hot little hands. That includes all enabled debit and credit cards with Visa, Mastercard, American Express and contactless-enabled smart phones, tablets and watches.
The move has come after testing on the Inner West light rail service and Sydney ferries since March this year. It means travellers using bank cards in place of Opal can now use the service for standard adult fares on all NSW trains, and will still receive the daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps. However, contactless riders can’t access concession prices or other travel discounts, so if you’ve been banking on that off-peak fare to get you through till pay day, maybe stick with your trusty Opal card.
Convenience is really the name of the game. For old-hand commuters, it’s a great back-up in case Mr Opal is lost at the bottom of a bag or has insufficient funds. For visitors to our fine city, it means not losing out on one-off trip fares and one less complicated state-specific system to sign up to in what might be a country-wide trip.
Buses are yet to be incorporated into the contactless network, but the ABC has stated that there are state government plans in place to expand the system to all city buses by mid-2019.