The New South Wales government will trial credit and debit cards to tap on and off buses, trains and ferries in Sydney in early 2017.
The trial will be based on London’s Oyster system, like the Opal card, which transport minister Andrew Constance announced yesterday can now be topped up using a smartphone app.
Despite the fact that the Opal system was built with contactless credit card payments in mind, there will still be extensive upgrades needed before the trial goes live Constance said.
“A lot of critical work needs to be undertaken in the first stage of this project, such as finalising partnerships, working with the finance and contactless payments sector, developing the software and then, in 2017, undertaking a customer trial,” he said.
To upgrade the London system cost the city roughly $125 million, however, the upgrade apparently paid for itself through admin savings and more people using the public transport system.
“The easier we can make it to hop on a train, ferry, bus or light rail, the more people we will get out of their cars congesting our roads,” Constance said.
It’s expected to follow the same method as London’s, in place since 2014, where both Opal and credit or debit cards will have the same fare rules applied.
On top of just standard credit or debit cards, the new upgrades would also open up the option to tap on using Apple Pay or Android Pay on your smartphone, and even smartwatches with payment capabilities such as the Apple Watch.