The New South Wales government says its new Opal Connect service could become a ‘one stop shop’ for transport payments and information, potentially allowing users to pay for ridesharing, taxi services, road tolls and parking as well as public transport.
Opal Connect is intended to offer users a single way of paying for different transport modes. It has launched with support for three of the state’s ‘On Demand’ transport services.
Users can create an account at transportnsw.info and link it to their Opal card and credit or debit card. Opal Connect has been integrated into the On Demand apps supported by Cooee Busways, MetroConnect, Via Technologies and Swat Mobile, allowing it to be used to sign in and pay for services.
“Today we’re announcing the first stage of Opal Connect. Customers who use On Demand services at The Ponds and Norwest who sign up to Opal Connect will receive a $2 travel credit each time they transfer to Opal services like the bus, train or Metro,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said. “They can then use that travel credit to go towards future On Demand bookings.”
“The biggest hurdle for people catching public transport is often that first and last mile,” the spokesperson said.
“Our goal is to make this key part of the journey as simple and integrated as possible. This first stage of Opal Connect provides another incentive to leave the car at home and enjoy a ride on our new, state of the art Metro system.”
Last month the government announced that it had completed the roll out of support for contactless payments via cards and mobile devices across the Opal network.
The state government in mid-2017 launched a trial of contactless payments for public transport
The system uses payment infrastructure built by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is the acquirer and back-end processor of card transactions on the Opal network.
The NSW Opal smartcard system is operated by Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS).