Contractor to start work on customer trial of contactless transport fare payments


Transport for NSW has contracted Cubic Transportation Systems Australia to design, build and operate a contactless transport payment solution for a customer trial in 2017.

Cubic will develop and then implement the system add-ons needed to enhance the Opal system to facilitate a customer trial that will take place on a selected location or mode.

The contract with Cubic is for a value of $10.2 million.

The customer trial will be a practical example of how Transport is shaping the most customer-centric, innovative, digitally-enabled transportation system in Australia.

While we look forward to implementing the trial during the next year, we’ll closely monitor customer take-up and feedback to better understand how customers view contactless payments as a possible option on the network.

Contactless transport payment with credit and debit cards has the potential to offer customers another easy to use and convenient option for travelling. 

The easier customers can hop on a train, ferry, bus or light rail the more likely they will get out of their cars that are congesting roads.

Only a few major mass transit systems similar in scale and complexity to Sydney’s have introduced contactless transport fare payments. 

London’s Oyster card system is a well-known example and that is where Cubic gained their experience to now offer Transport a solution which will underpin the customer trial next year.

Transport is also in discussions with the banks and credit card payment schemes to finalise their participation in the customer trial.  

This is the first time in Australia that these financial institutions have been directly involved in contactless transport payments and they are determining their interest, role and position. 

A lot of critical work needs to be undertaken to get to the customer trial stage such as finalising all the partnerships, working with the finance and contactless payments sector, and developing the software for our needs and getting it into the Opal system.

This is a complex project that is implementing a customer trial while keeping Opal running for millions of customers using their smart cards.

Details on the customer trial to explore fare payment on the Opal system without using an Opal card will be released in 2017 at a time closer to the trial.