Commuters in Sydney, Australia, will soon be able to use a digital version of their Opal transit card to pay for taxi fares and rideshare services and earn credit towards the cost of public transportation services they then transfer to.
The 10,000 Opal cardholders trialling the multi-modal incentive scheme will be able to pay for Uber, Ingogo taxi and Lime bike journeys using the digital card and then receive AUS$3 (US$2) in their Opal account towards the price of any bus, train or ferry journey they make within the hour.
The NSW government is launching the trial as part of its Future Transport Technology Roadmap 2021-2024 and its plans to introduce “seamless information and payment systems” on a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform.
“We will expand information available online and through apps, for driving, public transport, newer on-demand services, point-to-point, taxi and rideshare services, commuter car parking, walking and cycling,” the roadmap document says.
“This will help customers choose how and when they travel, in ways that suit their needs and local transport options.
“By connecting more services and building partnerships with more service providers, better connected journeys help build the platform for more personalised MaaS.”
The Sydney trial is due to run from the “middle of the year” until December, with the state government looking to expand the scheme if the trial is successful, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Transport for NSW began piloting the digital version of the Opal transit card in December 2020.