After forcing everyone to add another card to their wallets (and another card to somehow lose between leaving the house and reaching the bus stop/train station/ferry wharf), you’ll very soon be able to tap on and off Sydney’s buses with whatever contactless payment you choose, starting August.
After already being rolled out on the city’s light rail, ferry, and train services last year, Transport for NSW has confirmed that it’ll be allowing commuters to pay with their credit card, debit card, smartwatches, and mobile phones that have the capabilities to make payments. Basically, anything you can tap to pay with, you’ll be able to hold up to the card readers on the bus, and it’ll take the fare out of your account.
In the initial roll-out, the system will charge you for one single adult fare – so those with a concession Opal, don’t go throwing it out the window – and from today, as you travel more by tapping on and off with the same bank card or what-have-you, you’ll work up to hitting the weekly cap on your travel, and those half-price fares after eight trips.
Transport for NSW expects to have the tech active in the whole bus network by the end of September.
Using contactless payment the exact same deal as the Opal card, but without having to bulk out your wallet with another card (or three, if you’re like me and keep forgetting them and have to pick up another one.)
So if you’ve got a Mastercard/Visa/American Express card that you pay for everything else with, or you’ve got one of those cards linked to your phone/watch/whatever other wearable thingo, you’ll be able to tap on to your heart’s content across the whole NSW public transport system real soon.