Sydney's first electronic single-ticketing system will be trialled on ferries in less than a fortnight, but the Transport Minister is warning it might not be smooth sailing.
Ferry users travelling from Neutral Bay to Circular Quay will be the first to trial the Opal card.
Customers can preload the card with money and then use it to tap on at the start of their journey and tap off at the end.
Launching the card today, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says it will be rolled out progressively in order to iron out any problems.
"We know that there's been glitches almost everywhere it's come in; we know it won't be glitch-free," she said.
But she says it will create a simpler, more convenient transport system.
"We won't have to stress about getting paper-based tickets from one mode to the other," she said.
"The current system is clumsy, it's confusing, and unless you're a regular commuter doing the same thing everyday it's really hard to break outside that box.
"Eventually people will be able to avoid the Monday morning queues.
They'll be able to avoid having to worry about buying tickets.
"You'll just have to get this once and then it will be with you forever and how you choose to top it up will be up to you." The Opal card will be introduced on ferries and trains from next year, and rolled out on buses the following year.
Light rail will be integrated into the system by 2015.
Opposition spokeswoman Penny Sharpe says Sydney commuters are ready for the technology and had been promised more.
"Minister Berejiklian promised that this card would be available for all ferry passengers by the end of this year and today we find out there is just one route being used out of 11," she said.
"She's been unable to rule out that passengers won't be paying more.
For people in western Sydney they'll be concerned that the longer distance they travel it means it's going to cost them more on public transport."