NSW extends predictive Opal app occupancy alerts to buses, ferries

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NSW extends predictive Opal app occupancy alerts to buses, ferries

As physical distancing gets harder.

Commuters can now receive personalised passenger occupancy alerts for a greater range of public transport services through the Opal Travel app after the feature was extended to buses and ferries.

Transport for NSW expanded the opt-in ‘Covid Safe travel notifications’ service to the additional transport modes earlier this week, as physical distancing becomes more challenging during peak travel times.

It was first introduced for train and metro customers in November 2020 to complement real-time occupancy information on station indicator boards and third-party travel apps like TripView.

The alert service help passengers physical distance on their regular service by providing predicted occupancy information 30 minutes before its departure, as well as updates on physical distancing and any delays as the journey progresses.

Notifications are generated using real-time capacity and predictive data from NSW’s Opal electronic ticketing system, but only spawns if a passenger has travelled regularly over a 21-day period.

A spokesperson told iTnews that thousands of customers have already opted into the service since it was introduced, with “approximately 35,000 customer journeys... receiving alerts”.

More than 2.2 million notifications have been sent since the feature - delivered in partnership with Amazon Web Services, Tigerspike and App Journey - was introduced on trains.

TfNSW is now looking to extend alerts to the only remaining public transport mode: the light rail.

“Further developments will be made in the coming months to bring Covid Safe travel notifications to all customers travelling on the public transport network in Greater Sydney,” the spokesperson said.

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