The NSW Government will extend a trial of its Opal smartcard ticketing system to trains from the middle of this month.
State transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday the trial would now include City Circle stations as well as those on the Eastern Suburbs line between Central and Bondi Junction.
The trial extension puts the ticketing system rollout on schedule, with the Government having previously planned to start the rollout to train stations in "mid-2013".
"Rolling out to trains is a major step for the Opal card and the trial on the selected stations will allow customers to help us test the system," Berejiklian said.
"The rollout is complex and we are doing it in steps – we have learned from overseas that progressive rollouts work best and we expect there may be some hiccups along the way.
"Our trains move hundreds of thousands of people around Sydney every day, so we need to get it right by first trialling the system's equipment and back office processes."
The Government has named several additional phases of work for the train system rollout between now and March 2014:
- Stations north of the city to Chatswood (customer trial extension to include stations without gates);
- Stations from Redfern to Strathfield, Strathfield to Hornsby, Epping to Chatswood and north of Chatswood to Wyong on the Central Coast;
- Along the Western Line to Emu Plains and Richmond and stations from Strathfield to Liverpool via Regents Park.
Full rollout to over 300 stations is expected by the end of 2014.
The trial system is already operational on the Neutral Bay and Manly ferry services.
Other states already run similar smartcard ticketing systems. Victoria uses a system called myki while Queensland uses the go card.