London-style Contactless Payment for Sydney

Image courtesy of Transport for London

The New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance has announced that an open payments trial will take place in Sydney, Australia from 2017, utilising the London-style open payments ticketing technology from Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation. It is the first trial of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will act as a test case for other Australian cities.

Andrew Constance said:

“For too long, NSW has lagged behind the world when it comes to transport – but that’s changing. Contactless payment with credit and debit cards would offer customers another easy-to-use and convenient option for travelling. We’re all about making Opal even better. Cubic and the team behind it have done an incredible job. Now we want to use the technology behind Opal to further enhance the system.”

Matt Cole, President of CTS, said:

“The Sydney trial is a very exciting development, having the potential to leapfrog Sydney up into the ranks of a select group of leading cities embracing the new technology. Open payments represent a major advance into the future with ticketing technology. For commuters, it means an end to topping up funds on a smart card and a convenient option. For transport operators, it means expanded customer services and potential efficiencies.”

Cubic premiered the world’s first open payments system in London, starting customer trials on buses for Transport for London in 2012. Following full deployment in 2014, open payments now make up one million trips every day, with 22,000 new users to the system every day. Overall, this payment system is responsible for 25% of all London journeys. Cubic has been in discussions with New South Wales to roll out the technology in Australia.

Matt Cole said:

“In Sydney, open payments would continue to operate alongside Opal, as in London. It’s not a replacement for smartcard ticketing, but an enhancement to the system to provide more options for commuters.”

Currently, 15 million journeys are made every week utilising Queensland Go Card and the NSW Opal systems, both from Cubic. Cubic are also shortlisted to operate the myki system in Melbourne.

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