July 05, 2016

Melbourne and Sydney consolidate transport smart cards

Written by  Mark Carter
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Passengers exit through the Opal ticket gates in Sydney. Passengers exit through the Opal ticket gates in Sydney. Mark Carter

THE Australian state of Victoria has signed a seven-year, $A 700m ($US 525m) contract with NTT Data for the continued operation of its myki smart card public transport ticketing system that covers Melbourne and many parts of Victoria.


The new myki contract will begin on January 1 2017. "The contract provides stronger performance requirements and will deliver better value for money by ensuring any unanticipated costs are borne by the operator - not taxpayers," says Ms Jacinta Allan, Victoria's minister for public transport.

The government says as part of the contract it will immediately begin investigating options for contactless technology, including the ability for passengers to touch in and out with their credit card or smart phone.
In New South Wales (NSW) the state government says paper tickets will no longer be sold or accepted on public transport in Sydney after August 1.

NSW's minister for transport and infrastructure Mr Andrew Constance says passengers have embraced the Opal smart card, with 2 million users taking 13 million journeys a week.

"Opal is being used for 95% of all public transport trips," Constance says. "It is now time to stop running two ticketing systems and move to one convenient system that enables future innovation. With the single electronic system we can move to the next stage in ticketing, with a customer trial in 2017 for tapping in with credit and debit cards."

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