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NSW is trialling an entirely digital Opal card, used to pay for everything from buses and trains to taxis and Uber

Sharon Masige
  • Transport for New South Wales will be trialling digital Opal cards from next year.

  • The digital cards will offer you the same fares and benefits as the physical adult Opal card.

  • They come as part of NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance's vision of a subscription-style system, that will let you pay a certain fee for unlimited public and private public transport.

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Sydneysiders are in for another Opal card feature.

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) is trialling a digital Opal card in 2020 which will charge you the same fares and grant you the same benefits as the physical card.

Plus, it will let you pay for both public and private transport - think taxis and Uber.

It comes after the state government enabled contactless payments – where you can use credit or debit cards, as well as your smartphone with payment capabilities – to pay on the Opal network.

The digital card is part of NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance's longer-term mission to have a subscription-style service for transport.

Constance said in a statement that with the digital opal card, people will be able to pay for all modes of transport like the bus and light rail as well as taxis and Uber "with a single tap of their phone."

And it could mean you pay one fee a week (or month) to get unlimited access to all types of transport.

"In the not too distant future, I envisage a subscription style transport service where people use their Digital Opal cards to pay for a subscription service for transport – like Netflix," Constance said.

"The digital Opal will be used to pay a nominal fee each week or month for unlimited access to all public and private transport providers.”

The digital card will link to TfNSW's new ticketing platform Opal Connect, which, in the future, could offer bundled transport options. The card will be available in both prepaid and pay-as-you-go options.

TfNSW is also looking into the possibility of a companion app which will let digital card trial users keep track of all their travel history.

While the digital card will initially only be available to adults, it will be available for concession card holders in the future.

The digital cards are yet another effort from the New South Wales government to push further into the digital space. In October, it allowed residents to use digital driver licences as photo ID.