Parkeon, a global leader in transport ticketing technology, has played a key role in the Pearl Consortium’s highly successful roll-out of the world’s largest geographically-defined smartcard system across New South Wales (NSW) in Australia.

Last month, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced the completion of the Opal system across all trains, buses, Sydney Ferries and light rail – months ahead of schedule.

Parkeon’s ticketing platform is key to the bus network, acting as both driver console and the primary device providing information for real time tracking, third party validators, AVL and communications gateways. The system also enables drivers to view the status of all on-board equipment, monitor transactions and calculate distance-based fares.

In all, more than 1.8 million adult and child Opal cards have been issued, with more than 100,000 Opal Gold Senior/ Pensioner cards issued. Patronage is increasing steadily as passengers take advantage of faster boarding times and easier journeys facilitated by the smartcards.

Opal has revolutionised public transport in NSW – customers are finally enjoying the convenience of electronic ticketing in the same way people in other cities around Australia and the world have for many years” Mr Baird said. “Opal has improved customer service and is making people’s lives easier.”

The first customer trials of Opal started on ferries in December 2012 and within the space of two years the system has been rolled-out to 308 train stations, more than 5,000 buses, 40 ferry wharves and 23 light rail stops, well ahead of the original 2015 deadline.

Said Dave Thompson, Director of Parkeon Pty in Australia: “The delivery of Opal ahead of schedule is down to the commitment of everyone involved in the project, along with the robustness of the underlying technology.”

Owen Griffith, Managing Director of Parkeon Transportation world-wide, commented: “The project underlines the significant value that this technology can create for cities and their communities. It has been a real team effort and we are delighted to have played our part in making Opal such a great success.”