Travellers in the Australian state will be able to put the Opal card on their digital wallets as part of a major upgrade, while 10,000 people will be selected to take part in the 12-month mobility-as-a-service trial.
The Australian state of New South Wales is investing $567.9m in upgrades to its Opal transport card system, funded through the 2022-23 NSW Budget.
Travellers will be able to put the Opal card on their digital wallets as part of the OpalNext Gen upgrade.
Investment into OpalNext Gen will also enable the trial of a new mobility-as-a-service app (MaaS), Opal Plus. It is working on the project with MaaS specialist Moovit. Operator partners include Ola, Silver Top Taxi Service, Secure Parking and micromobility providers Beam, Lime and Neuron Mobility.
Minister for infrastructure, cities and active transport Rob Stokes said 10,000 people would also be selected to take part in the 12-month trial, which allows subscribers to bundle together public transport, rideshare, e-bike rental, taxi and parking.
“This app will revolutionise the way we travel in NSW because it factors in first- and last-mile journeys, making it simpler and easier to leave the car at home and get from door-to-door,” said Stokes.
“Opal Plus will free up people to choose their own adventure when it comes to transport, laying the groundwork for an even more intelligent transport system that puts the citizen at its heart.”
Since 2012 more than four billion trips have been taken using Opal. NSW treasurer Matt Kean said it has transformed the way people travel but it is now time to invest in keeping the system in line with evolving needs and expectations.
He added: “This gives us a window into the future, setting up the Opal network to keep pace with our changing needs whether that be a train, bus, e-bike, e-scooter, rideshare or even electric vehicle charging.”
“This app will revolutionise the way we travel in NSW because it factors in first- and last-mile journeys, making it simpler and easier to leave the car at home and get from door-to-door”
Minister for transport and veterans David Elliott said the NSW Government’s investment into Opal Next Gen will see services tailored to better meet the needs of commuters.
“This state-of-the-art new Opal system will enable commuters to travel from A to B a whole lot easier, it will allow families to seamlessly plan, book and pay for a range of different transport services in one place,” said Elliott.
“The current Opal system has delivered an exceptional service for nearly a decade, but it is time to take it to the next level.”
Transport for NSW will be running competitive tender processes starting in the next two months.