I love catching the bus to the city. I hate sitting in the bus on the Harbour Bridge waiting for drop off at Wynyard. While watching passengers disembark I note that there is considerable time with people tapping off, even fumbling for their Opal cards, or now making sure they are using the right contactless card.
Opal has revolutionised public transport ticketing. Taking it to the next step could save minutes per bus load drop off at Wynyard and other busy bus destinations and interchanges.
Consider the process of getting your Opal or Contactless card out, even juggling your bags, umbrellas and everything, and then getting it at the right height for the readers. Sometimes there will also be mis reads. Per passenger I estimate an average of 2-5 seconds of additional time than a straight exit of the bus. Say there are at least 50 passengers disembarking. A best case is that the delay is 100 seconds, getting towards two minutes.
Consider an alternative where you can tap off with only a Smartphone App, and no reader required. You could be able to do this just prior to or after disembarking, even with automatic prompting based on your regular journeys. Even better when it’s pouring rain. Everyone jumps off, gets to shelter and the taps off in the App.
I am sure there are edge cases of such a system that would get systems engineers heads spinning. Also, some cases could be detrimental to revenue. However the benefits in time saved and convenience for commuters must easily outweigh such challenges.
I look forward to development of Opal and smart ticketing to the point that it can save even more time and destination and interchange congestion. One location that will benefit for sure is Wynyard and relieve the harbour bridge bus corridor.
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