Friday, October 7, 2011

7 Ways to Improve Sydney’s E-Ticketing System

Last month, the State Minister for Transport announced that Sydney’s new integrated public transport ticketing system, the Opal Card, would begin operating in late 2012. (See here for a list of other names considered for the new contactless smartcard ticketing system. Ideas ranged from literal, i.e. “Ride Card,” to downright bizarre, i.e. “Cheese & Kisses Card.”)
Integrated ticketing has been promised in Sydney since 1993. It was meant to have started in time for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but disagreement between the government and the contractor meant the system was never established and ended up costing taxpayers close to AU$200 million. However, the recently elected government seems committed to getting the system running.
While Sydney’s ticketing systems for buses, light rail and ferries will mesh fairly easily with a new integrated system, heavy rail (run by CityRail) uses a very dated ticketing regime. With that in mind, here are the top seven issues to consider for the current CityRail ticketing system to encourage more Sydneysiders to get on board.

1.  Discounts for return trips
Sydneysiders pay the same for a single trip as for a return trip. Buying a return ticket saves CityRail money by printing less tickets and serving less transactions at the ticket office, so why not pass the savings on to passengers?  Although few other rail systems offer discounted return tickets, they do offer discounts on multi-trip credit top-ups.  New York, for instance, gives a 7 percent discount on pay-per-ride credit top-ups of $10 or more.


more about public transport:

No comments:

Post a Comment