AUSTRALIA: The roll-out of contactless payment in greater Sydney has been completed, with passengers able to use contactless cards and mobile devices or smart cards on all bus services within the Opal ticketing network from September 23. This follows the introduction of contactless payment across the region’s rail, metro, light rail and ferry services.

Supplier Cubic Transportation Systems said Opal was the ‘world’s geographically largest contactless payment system’, with the area of 40 000 km2 being similar in size to Switzerland, Denmark or the Netherlands.

Passengers are charged an adult fare, with a A$2 discount when transferring between modes (except from light rail to Sydney Ferries), discounts for off peak rail travel, half-price travel after eight paid journeys in a week, and fare capping on a daily or weekly basis and on Sundays.

More than 9 million contactless journeys have been made and 1·4 million unique contactless credit and debit cards used since the first trial on a ferry in 2017.

Completion of the deployment ‘is a major milestone in Australia’s journey to frictionless mobility, marking the dawn of a new age for commuter transport in Australia’, said Tom Walker, Senior Vice-President & Managing Director at Cubic Transportation Systems Asia-Pacific. ‘We are now travelling down an exciting new path towards frictionless end-to-end journeys with just one payment for both private and public transport.’

Cubic is currently supplying a contactless payment system for Queensland, beginning with trials on regional buses.