THE New South Wales state government has allocated $A 567.9m ($US 396.6m) through its 2022-23 budget to upgrade the Opal smartcard ticketing system for public transport in Sydney and the surrounding region.

The system will enable a trial of a new MaaS app, known as Opal Plus, with 10,000 passengers selected to take part in the 12-month trial, which allows subscribers to bundle together public transport, ridesharing, e-bike rental, taxi journeys and parking.

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) has selected Moovit to deliver the Opal Plus app, which will allow passengers to plan, book and pay for journeys across a range of transport options. TfNSW will then use Moovit’s API to present the journey plans to the passenger.

“This app will revolutionise the way we travel in NSW because it factors in first and last mile journeys, making it simpler and easier to leave the car at home and get from door to door,” says minister for infrastructure, cities and active transport, Mr Rob Stokes. “Opal Plus will free up people to choose their own adventure when it comes to transport, laying the groundwork for an even more intelligent transport system that puts the citizen at its heart.”

Passengers will also be able to add the Opal card to the digital wallets on their smartphones as part of the OpalNext Gen upgrade.

“This state-of-the-art new Opal system will enable commuters to travel from A to B a whole lot easier, it will allow families to seamlessly plan, book and pay for a range of different transport services in one place,” says minister for transport and veterans, Mr David Elliott. “The current Opal system has delivered an exceptional service for nearly a decade, but it is time to take it to the next level.”

Transport for NSW will launch a competitive tender processes for the OpalNext Gen upgrade in the next two months.