Australian state opens up transit payment system to outside providers

6. February 2018.

Transport for New South Wales, the statutory authority of the New South Wales government which manages the transport services in the state of New South Wales, Australia, has opened up its Opal system to third-party private operators through Opal Pay.

This will enable passengers to use the Opal card to pay for transit trips on routes operated by private operators, according to a press release.

Opal cards are smartcard tickets that riders can keep, reload and reuse to pay for travel on public transport. The Opal network includes train, bus, ferry and light rail services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

Cubic Transportation Systems, which designed, installed and operated the Opal card system, has been working closely with Transport for New South Wales to develop APIs that enable third parties to connect to the Opal system so that journeys can be paid for using the Opal card.

The Manly Fast Ferry (My Fast Ferry) is the first operator to offer OpalPay, and My Fast Ferry customers will be able to take advantage of Opal Pay on routes between Manly and Circular Quay. My Fast Ferry, a privately-owned fleet operator independent from the Transport for New South Wales’ Manly Ferry service that is part of the existing Opal system, will now have an expanded range of ticketing options available to commuters, with the Opal card serving as another form of payment.

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