Ferry commuters in Australia’s largest city can now use the new Opal smart card across the entire Sydney Ferries network, as the rollout of the city’s new ticketing system continues.
The New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said the completion of the ferry rollout on Aug. 30, was a fantastic achievement, coming four months ahead of schedule.
"This marks a significant milestone for the NSW government, with ferries now the first transport mode where Opal customers can catch any Sydney Ferries service without worrying about queuing for a ticket or searching for coins," she said.
The successful rollout of Opal on the ferry network marks completion of an important milestone for Cubic Transportation Systems, which is installing the new electronic ticketing system with other members of the Pearl Consortium, a range of contractors, and experts from Transport for NSW.
Cubic’s Managing Director Tom Walker said it was gratifying to see the progress that had been made in just nine months, since the first limited trials of Opal began on a single ferry run on Sydney Harbour in early December last year.
"A lot of work has happened behind the scenes to get to this stage and we are very pleased with the results so far. Commuters can now use Opal seamlessly on two transport modes – ferries and selected rail lines – with buses next to be added to the network. Light rail will be the last to be fitted with Opal equipment, with the entire project scheduled for completion in 2015," he said.
The new system is also being extended after a customer trial across the city’s passenger rail network and is now available on train stations from the CBD north to Chatswood, in addition to the City Circle and east to Bondi Junction.
Minister Berejiklian said Opal was now available at 669 card readers across the 40 wharves in Sydney servicing all 8 ferry routes and at 17 train stations across the city. More than 20,000 Opal cards have now been ordered by Sydneysiders, with more than 350,000 trips made.
"Under Opal we are offering cheaper fares for customers across the ferry and train networks, plus rewards for frequent travel," she said.
The rollout will be completed across more than 300 train stations and on more than 5000 buses by the end of 2014.