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Introducing OPAL Card

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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby tonyp » Thu May 02, 2019 10:42 am

andy_centralcoast wrote:I had the same thing happen to me when the credit/debit card thing was first switched on. My Opal card was much closer to the reader, but it somehow picked up the Visa/Mastercard on the other side of my wallet.

For a refund, they asked me to print and fill in this paper-based form, and then snail mail it to them: https://www.opal.com.au/en/asset/a8e34c ... t_form.pdf

That was some weeks ago, and your post has reminded me I never actually got a response or the refund! I'll have to follow up today...

Thanks for that. I wasn't even offered that but I'm pursuing the matter. Funny that when they want to take money off you quickly its electronic but when they have to pay money back it's the old-fashioned way.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Thu May 02, 2019 1:25 pm

I keep my Opal card inside my phone case, which has four "pockets" in the flap. Opal is in the bottom pocket. so is closest to the outside. Opal readers detect it readily, although sometimes the TO's readers don't, and I have to pull it out (maybe they have low batteries?).

In the top of the four pockets I have a mini pay-tag debit card, and just some business cards in the middle pockets as "insulation".

Occasionally the Opal readers will come up with an error message if they detect both cards, but a second go usually sorts that out.

I tried using some aluminium foil as insulation, but the readers didn't like that at all.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Thu May 02, 2019 1:57 pm

boronia wrote:I keep my Opal card inside my phone case, which has four "pockets" in the flap. Opal is in the bottom pocket. so is closest to the outside. Opal readers detect it readily, although sometimes the TO's readers don't, and I have to pull it out (maybe they have low batteries?).

Crap antenna in the phones they use.

boronia wrote:Occasionally the Opal readers will come up with an error message if they detect both cards, but a second go usually sorts that out.


I rarely get that message. And I leave both my Opal AND EMV contactless cars in my wallet. But I open my wallet so the other cards are below and at right angles to the reader. The magnetic coupling doesn't work anywhere near as well when at right angles to the pad as opposed to parallel.


If there are a group of cards all parallel with the pad within 10-15 cm ALL will power up. It's then a race to see who establishes contact with the reader first. Normally the closer card gets the lion's share of the magnetic field energy so it gets in first, but not always. Once this process starts the reader ignores all other cards.
Now if you have a bank card that requires a particularly low amount of power to activate it is possible it will get in before the MiFare Desfire opal card (Desfire cards need a lot more power than a 'classic' or 'ultralight' card for example, so are slower to respond)

boronia wrote:I tried using some aluminium foil as insulation, but the readers didn't like that at all.


Al foil doesn't work as it messes up the magnetic field and prevents even the card in front from getting enough power to start communicating. Aluminium may not be magnetic, but it does conduct electricity, so it interacts with the field.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby tonyp » Sat May 04, 2019 5:00 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:I had the same thing happen to me when the credit/debit card thing was first switched on. My Opal card was much closer to the reader, but it somehow picked up the Visa/Mastercard on the other side of my wallet.

For a refund, they asked me to print and fill in this paper-based form, and then snail mail it to them: https://www.opal.com.au/en/asset/a8e34c ... t_form.pdf

That was some weeks ago, and your post has reminded me I never actually got a response or the refund! I'll have to follow up today...

Opal has since proceeded to deal with my issue by email and they haven't sent that form to me (at least so far), so they must deal with people in different ways. It does seem to have raised a significant issue that, with opening up fare collection to bank cards etc as well as Opal cards, there is a big potential to have the wrong card scanned and being charged more. In fact, how do they deal with all the concessional issues when bank cards are being used. I know how they dealt with mine - I was charged about 200% more than I should have paid and they showed no sign of making any adjustment until I complained. A good way to make an extra quid. Does one have to now put one's wallet on the end of a selfie-stick and hold it a metre away from the reader while making sure the Opal card is glued to the reader?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Sat May 04, 2019 5:53 pm

tonyp wrote: It does seem to have raised a significant issue that, with opening up fare collection to bank cards etc as well as Opal cards, there is a big potential to have the wrong card scanned and being charged more. In fact, how do they deal with all the concessional issues when bank cards are being used.


You just need to keep them separated.
My wallet has a central flap with a clear window for ID. My driver's licence sits in their with Opal behind.

I tap the flap on the Opal terminal, with about four other cards in the wallet and never had card clash or error.

They don't provide concessions on contactless - adult fares only. Much like you can't get a concession card at a retailer.

Also fairly easy to detect - if you don't see a balance onscreen it's not the Opal card. So tap off the other card and get a reversal, then tap on with the Opal card
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Sat May 04, 2019 8:55 pm

A few gates now have signs warning "keep your cards separated".
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Sat May 04, 2019 9:21 pm

I have noticed many people simply brazenly boarding without tapping at all. They all look like anti social people - the 1% types who have probably been to prison.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Sun May 05, 2019 1:47 pm

If STA buses are now Opal only, why do they still have signs asking passengers to "tender the exact fare"?? 8) 8)
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Tue May 07, 2019 1:48 pm

moa999 wrote:Also fairly easy to detect - if you don't see a balance onscreen it's not the Opal card. So tap off the other card and get a reversal, then tap on with the Opal card

Not that simple if it’s a gated station where it happens on tap off and you’re stung with a default fare that can’t be reversed. And you also get a “no tap off” default fare on your other card.

I’m still waiting for Opal to process my reimbursement. Now been more than a month and I’ve heard nothing.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boxythingy » Tue May 07, 2019 10:34 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:
moa999 wrote:Also fairly easy to detect - if you don't see a balance onscreen it's not the Opal card. So tap off the other card and get a reversal, then tap on with the Opal card

Not that simple if it’s a gated station where it happens on tap off and you’re stung with a default fare that can’t be reversed. And you also get a “no tap off” default fare on your other card.

I’m still waiting for Opal to process my reimbursement. Now been more than a month and I’ve heard nothing.


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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby sunnyyan » Tue May 07, 2019 10:36 pm

Anyone know can anything result in a bus reader displaying 'Please Wait' constantly, apart from the AVL failing and the driver not manually waking the console?
My mum had a bus stuck on 'Please Wait' with no realtime tracking today, with the driver just waving people on.
She's also reported several cases when starting off from a terminus it will get stuck on 'Please Wait' for a few stops.
I thought pressing any key to wake up the console should stop the BVs displaying 'Please Wait'?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby matthewg » Wed May 08, 2019 7:27 am

sunnyyan wrote:Anyone know can anything result in a bus reader displaying 'Please Wait' constantly, apart from the AVL failing and the driver not manually waking the console?

The RJ45 ethernet connector breaking in the back of the reader. It stops getting location updates from the controller and just sits there patiently waiting.

If the bus starts the day with the connection broken, the reader MAY say 'set shift' instead of 'please wait'.

The common garden variety ethernet connector does not like vibration. There are industrial types that are vibration resistant, but people tend to shy away from them as they are both expensive and incompatible with the humble RJ45, so the repairers/developers need special adaptor cables to test the units.

IMHO if they used M12s instead of RJ45s many of these problems wouldn't exist. As it is they used expensive Harting Han connectors that have a lovely locking mechanism, but locking doesn't equal vibration resistance. Engineers I work with found that out the hard way on one of our projects.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby andy_centralcoast » Thu May 09, 2019 9:10 pm

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/hills-shire-times/sydney-metro-northwest-travel-costs-increase-in-comparison-to-bus-fares/news-story/b4409f76de8fb380752b86a89a573e08 wrote:
Sydney metro northwest: travel costs increase in comparison to bus fares

Opal customers are calling for the NSW Government to fast-track an election promise to introduce a $50 weekly cap on travel, after it was revealed commuters along the Sydney Metro northwest line could be forced to pay almost 50 per cent more for their trip from The Hills to the city.

Commuters currently pay an average of $4.62 to travel from The Hills to the Sydney CBD using the Opal bus network. However, once the Sydney Metro northwest opens on May 26, fares would rise to cost between $6.96 to $8.62 each way according to Transport for NSW fare calculators.

The NSW Government has currently imposed a weekly opal cap of $63.20, meaning commuters in The Hills could be slugged up to $17 extra per week to use the Metro, until the promised $50 cap is introduced.

A spokeswoman for NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the reduced $50 weekly cap would be introduced on July 1.

“This has not changed and we never gave any indication it would be introduced before Metro opened,” she said.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby moa999 » Thu May 09, 2019 9:40 pm

And they should've been paying more for their bus journeys for the last few years (as should those on the Northern Beaches)
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Swift » Thu May 09, 2019 9:49 pm

Does anyone ever see school kids tapping on or off with their opal? I saw a driver giving a lecture to two youths who looked no older than 15 as he ordered them off on a Saturday after they didn't tap. They, of course, mocked him as they stepped off.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boronia » Thu May 09, 2019 10:18 pm

School kids get used to not being forced to use their Opal cards, and the habit seems to continue when they leave school.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby swtt » Thu May 09, 2019 10:30 pm

andy_centralcoast wrote:
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/hills-shire-times/sydney-metro-northwest-travel-costs-increase-in-comparison-to-bus-fares/news-story/b4409f76de8fb380752b86a89a573e08 wrote:
Sydney metro northwest: travel costs increase in comparison to bus fares

Opal customers are calling for the NSW Government to fast-track an election promise to introduce a $50 weekly cap on travel, after it was revealed commuters along the Sydney Metro northwest line could be forced to pay almost 50 per cent more for their trip from The Hills to the city.

Commuters currently pay an average of $4.62 to travel from The Hills to the Sydney CBD using the Opal bus network. However, once the Sydney Metro northwest opens on May 26, fares would rise to cost between $6.96 to $8.62 each way according to Transport for NSW fare calculators.

The NSW Government has currently imposed a weekly opal cap of $63.20, meaning commuters in The Hills could be slugged up to $17 extra per week to use the Metro, until the promised $50 cap is introduced.

A spokeswoman for NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the reduced $50 weekly cap would be introduced on July 1.

“This has not changed and we never gave any indication it would be introduced before Metro opened,” she said.


They should be thankful that they now have an option of buying back their time with reliable travel times instead of the unreliable bus travel times.

In fact most people can continue to use the bus. The major routes aren't being scaled back at this stage. Can't say so for Stage 2 of the metro.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby boxythingy » Sat May 11, 2019 3:47 pm


New updated video about contactless payment features token mention about metro, but not a single clip contains footage of metro!

When will this be ready on buses!?
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Sat May 11, 2019 4:55 pm

boxythingy wrote:When will this be ready on buses!?
I think they are slowly starting to roll the contactless fare thing out on buses there are around about another 23 opal regions to roll it out to that’s the remainder the metropolitan contracted bus network and the entire outer metropolitan contracted bus network that this has to be rolled out to
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun May 12, 2019 9:30 am

Please note - cutback of M2 servives has nothing to do with Opal. Relevant posts have now bee removed from this thread on two occasions. There is another thread covering changes as the result of the Metro opening.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby tonyp » Wed May 29, 2019 11:00 am

Outcome of my query :

Transport for NSW has been trialling contactless payment cards (CPC) as an alternative way for you to pay for your trip on the Train services also. Opal Customer Care understands that some people make mistakes when getting used to a new system, therefore, goodwill adjustments were available to customers, where customers had not properly separated their cards before tapping on or off at an Opal reader.

The value of $.. has been returned to your Opal card for the default fare charge incurred to your MasterCard, AMEX or Visa card on ..., 2019.

When using the Sydney Ferries, Light rail and Train services it is important that you separate your cards before tapping on.
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Re: Introducing OPAL Card

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:25 am

https://transportnsw.info/news/2019/mos ... y-services
Screenshot 2019-06-16 10.20.12.png
Screenshot 2019-06-16 10.20.12.png (144.54 KiB) Viewed 164 times

But the above link from there does not appear to work yet.
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