Later this year Sydney will be home to a world first trial that will give digital Opal Card users the ability to use them with Ubers, Taxis and share bikes.
Uber comes to Opal cards with an added bonus
The trial will be rolled out across 10,000 digital Opal Cards from the middle 2021 and will and run until December.
Part of the point of the trial is to encourage Sydneysiders to use multiple types of public transport in lieu of driving. As such, the NSW Government is offering $3 credit to commuters who use different types of public transport within an hour of each other. This will include Ubers and Taxis.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Transport Minister Andrew Constance referred to this as “cross-pollinating platforms.”
“One of the frustrations we experience, particularly with our bus commuters at the moment, is the city has grown to a point where you just can’t go from one point seamlessly to another on one mode,” Constance said.
“What we are doing is incentivising the interchange so less people drive.”
New modes of public transport that will be covered by digital Opal cards will includes Uber, Taxis, Lime Bike, Ingogo and the Manly Fast Ferry.
“We’re applying a discount for people to use public transport and leave their car at home, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s what we should be doing with tech,” Constance said.
“We know how convenient using one card is and this is just the beginning. If the trial is successful we will look into rolling it out across the network and we’ll be inviting other providers to get on board too.”
The expanded digital Opal card trial is one part of the government’s Future Transport Technology Roadmap. It’s possible that this will also include a hydrogen-bus trial in parts of Sydney as well as EV charging stations at public car parks across the city.
At the beginning of March the NSW government removed e-scooter trials across Sydney after Constance stated he was “not in the mood” for e-scooter on the streets.