Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Media coverage still fails to uncover Opal truth

Mar 17, 2016News

r77_3_1200_678_w1200_h678_fmaxWe are now more than three years into Opal, and the government still hasn’t figured it out.

Opal was first trialled on the 333 service out of Waverley, and those drivers have been living with it for the longest time. And they are at their wits end.

At North Sydney depot the contractor recently implemented an upgrade of the Opal machines. While this is a regular occurrence, this time, nine buses went out the next morning only fail whilst in service due to the opal system interfering with the buses electronics. What a great system, a system that doesn’t just not work, but also makes the buses themselves not work.

Even more troubling, a delegate has told the union that his drivers are getting called into the depot office and told that they have to sign a document that states the driver is responsible for the Opal machine going down.

With so much time spent telling passengers that the Opal machine is down, and the delays that are caused with passengers trying to tap on to broken machines, drivers have asked if they can put a bag over the machine when it’s not working. But, of course, instead of fixing the problems, TfNSW said they wouldn’t allow the bags because they would look bad to passengers and the media when they saw just how many machines don’t work.

The Opal card on buses is a lemon.

If the Opal system were a new car it would be parked outside the dealership with lemon stickers all over it.

This system works fine overseas on buses i.e. oyster card in London. It can be done right.

The NSW Government should have the opal card contractor Cubic in court to recoup lost revenue and the damages perceived by the public of our Employees and transport network.

We as drivers, and other staff in the public transport industry are getting blamed for things that are completely out of our control, and completely up to a private company to manage and fix.