Management & Operations

Cubic completes Australia's Opal smart card system

Posted on December 11, 2014

Cubic Transportation Systems, a business segment of Cubic Corp., is celebrating the early completion of Sydney’s Opal contactless smart card ticketing system across all transport modes and connecting multiple operators.

On Dec. 1, the New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced the Opal rollout on trains, buses, ferries and light rail for the greater Sydney region had been completed months ahead of schedule.

Minister Berejiklian said more people are using public transport thanks to Opal, with weekend patronage on trains up almost 12% and customers no longer standing in lengthy and frustrating Monday morning train station ticket queues every week.

RELATED: As Mobile Ticketing Makes Strides, E-fare Tech Ramps Up

The contract to build the new Electronic Ticketing System (ETS) — later branded as the Opal Card — was awarded to the Cubic-led Pearl consortium in 2010.

By December 2012, trials for the new smart card ticketing system began on a single ferry service in Sydney and the system was then rolled out progressively across the entire ferry, train, bus and light rail network. During that time 39,000 pieces of complex electronic devices were installed, linking 5,000 buses, 308 train stations, 40 ferry wharves and 23 light rail stops to the Cubic-designed central computer system that controls the ticketing network.

With completion of delivery, Cubic has commenced operation and maintenance of the Opal system under the 10-year services agreement that is part of the original contract.

More than 1.4 million Opal cards have been distributed and 20 million free trips taken under the weekly reward scheme where after eight paid journeys the rest are free and the daily fare is capped.

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