Sydney’s new Opal card

Transport NSW has recently started a trial of the NFC enabled Opal card.
The idea of this card is to tap on at the start of your ride and tap off at the end.
The system is, supposedly, designed to be more granular in its section system unlike the current system where a MyZone 3 may be required when your stop is just beyond the 5 section length. This trip should really only cost you 6 sections but you are required to buy a 6-10 section ticket.
There are several questions I have around the Opal card system:
1. How granular is the recording of sections?
2. What’s stopping anyone from doing a sly tap half way along their route and not getting off till the end?
3. Can the NFC tag be loaded onto an NFC compatible phone so that your phone can be used?
4. What happens if you forget to tap off or the station you get off at has no Opal tap points? How much are you charged then?

My local route does have an Opal enabled bus on it so I intend on checking this out sometime soon.
The Opal card is available on trial for the city circle to chatswood line and on selected bus routes. It’ll cost you $30 (this is your credit) to sign up to the trial at http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/opal

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2 thoughts on “Sydney’s new Opal card

  1. I’ve been looking into this as well. Hopefully this will be better implemented than the Myki system.

    Looking at the FAQs – if you forget to tap off, you are charged the maximum fare for that trip e.g. possibly a 10 section bus ride. It doesn’t talk about whether this applies to stations without the tap points – caveat emptor!

    How sensitive are the NFC sensors? Can you use the Opal card when it is in your wallet?

    • My Myki card gets picked up by my phone while it’s in my wallet. So I can only assume the Opal will be similar and will work from inside the wallet. I think it will be fine with proxy cards too due to the differing technologies and frequencies used in the chips.

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