Commuters traveling on Sydney’s rail and metro network can now receive real-time passenger occupancy notifications directly through the Opal Travel app based on their recent travel pattern.
Transport minister Andrew Constance revealed the new ‘Covid Safe travel notifications’ feature on Tuesday to help passengers maintain a physical distance from one another when travelling on their usual service.
The alerts - which complement real-time occupancy information on station indicator boards and third-party travel apps - will initially be available to both registered and unregistered Opal card customers who have travelled regularly over a 21-day period.
Customers who have set up the personalised alert service will receive a notification providing predicted occupancy information 30 minutes before their regular Sydney Trains or Metro service.
The Opal Travel app, which was overhauled late last month, will also push updates on physical distancing during the travel window, as well as advice on trackwork, delays and major incidents.
“The new feature is a world leading piece of innovation that uses real-time capacity and predictive data to help customers make better choices when travelling,” Constance said.
The feature – which will soon expand to light rail, ferry and bus services – was delivered by Transport for NSW in just 12 weeks with the help of Amazon Web Services, Tigerspike and App Journey.
AWS’s A/NZ public sector director Iain Rouse said that the company was “confident this new feature will make commuting a more safe and comfortable experience for customers”.
Tigerspike’s lead client engagement and strategy manager Oliver Poulter said the collaboration with TfNSW was “about building on the resources that already exist to deliver trustworthy data”.
App Journey founder Rupert Hanson added that developing the feature had been a “huge team effort”, and that feedback would allow the company to “keep improve the technology as it rolls out”.