My smartcard collection – I’ll report on Opal soon!

Here is my collection of Australian public transport smartcards.

The ones I’m missing are Adelaide, Canberra and Tasmania — all of which have been introduced since my last visits there.

Smartcards: Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney

Notably Perth’s SmartRider is the only card that is blank on the back, which is why the card number (which I’ve blacked-out) is on the front.

Some friends and family have also given me cards from overseas, though what I find most interesting is not the card designs themselves, but how the systems work for users — the response times in particular, but also the opportunities to top them up, the availability and pricing of single tickets, and so on — and to judge those, you really need to use the systems.

Expect a report on Opal soon!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “My smartcard collection – I’ll report on Opal soon!”

Exactly Jon. I was going to make the same point. I have made that point before on this website.

Australia is apparently the first country in the world where you can use your EastLink tag on any toll road in AUS.

Incredible that the PT bodies did not think the same way. It is 2014, the other cities should be able to deduct money from myki cards.

That off centre opal logo is triggering my OCD
(but at least NSW bothered to hire some qualified graphics people).

Amusingly, some PT cards are named after marine creatures: Oyster (London), Octopus (Hong Kong) and Snapper (Wellington). Why did we get stuck with myki?

The interoperability (or lack of it) of these cards is a result of not agreeing on a system architecture across the nation. It would have been beneficial because Australians do seem to be aware that they are able to travel between Australian cities. It should not have been a stretch of the imagination to conceive of them wanting to have one card in their wallet that could work across all public transport systems.
I’m sure there would be arguments put forward against such simple compatibility, but those arguments would not be sound; a properly designed architecture would make it all straightforward, as the toll road operators have demonstrated.
(this post is largely a practice for what I hope to be able to write as an answer to an exam question on Monday)

@par3000 – That off-centre Opal logo is pleasing the photographer side of me. It’s all about the rule of thirds.

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