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STM’s New Dumb Card: Opus

I wrote to the STM, about their new Opus Card:

Why can I only put 6 rides/tickets at a time onto my OPUS card? I don’t want a weekly or monthly card, but I want to load up with many rides, not just 6. This does not make any sense at all. Are you planning to change this? Because if not, you will have very many very unhappy clients.
Thanks …

They responded:


It is currently possible to load up to two six-ticket booklets on an Opus card. However, should you have 7 tickets left on your card, it would not be possible to load another booklet, as the total would be 13 instead of 12 tickets.
These limits have been set mostly to avoid mistakes during the new system’s deployment. It is planned that these limits will eventually be reconsidered.

A new STM product will however be available as of January 2009: the ten-ticket booklet to be loaded on an Opus card.

Your comment will be forwarded to the authorities in charge to be taken into account.

Thank you and have a nice day,


Avoid mistakes? Like: oh, I am too stupid to know how many tickets I want? … Maybe a screen that says: “How many tickets do you want? 6, 12, 24, 48, etc…” Or: “How much money would you like to add to your card? $5, $10, $25, $50?”

Goddammit. Smart card, my ass.

Send your emails to: SAC.Commentaires AT


  1. Alex Alex 2008-11-21

    So it isn’t just me.

    If any of the parties in the upcoming election simply said “we’re creating a mandatory position in all government-run initiatives called ‘VP of common sense’,” I would vote for them without any additional information about their policies.


  2. olivier olivier 2008-11-21

    The horse doesn’t look so fresh and I’m sorry for the beating, but… could the STM send someone to Tokyo, Seoul, or indeed Barcelona, or any city with a decent system, and learn from them?

    The Opus is a nice idea, but alas, poorly executed. At this point it is inferior in many ways to the beginnings of the system in Tokyo, back in 2001: slower, less flexible, buggier… Did the STM get screwed by their industrial partners, or do they actually believe that the Opus is a technological jewel?

    I probably shouldn’t send them a mail though, lest I start ranting about their grumpy, nasty, condescending and unhelpful employees in most metro booths.

    Argh indeed.

  3. Ian Ian 2008-11-22

    Thanks Hugh, I have been totally confused by the new system and now I know its not just me: it doesn’t make sense! Instead of making it easier, the logistics are harder, I guess I will just get a bus pass for the convenience of not having to bother with ridiculous refill options (which is probably what they wanted).

  4. Jeff Jeff 2008-12-01

    I’m just amazed they actually responded to your email! That they f-ed up the Opus card, well, I couldn’t call it unexpected.

  5. Peter Peter 2009-02-17

    What’s so confusing about putting the card in a machine and purchasing the tickets, then swiping it on the card reader. It’s pretty simple to me. I agree that not being able to buy more than 12 tickets at a time is kinda silly, but really, that doesn’t mean they screwed up the OPUS card. It ain’t perfect, but it sure beats the system they had before.

    How many times have you waited in line to board a bus while some freeloader argues with the driver that their two-week old transfer is indeed valid. Or how about those people who enter a metro station, grab a handful of transfers and then hand them over to their friends on the other side so they can ride the bus for free. Then there are those who enter the automatic metro entrances with their children on their shoulders, or the whole family rushes through the gate on one fare. The OPUS card will significantly reduce all of these types of fraud, which we pay for in higher transit fares. I think the OPUS card is great!

  6. Mark Mark 2009-02-27

    How does it beat the old system by far? Sure it’s easy to use, but durable it is not and faster it is not either. For the time it takes for the damn machine to capt the waves from the source can take up to 5 seconds. Now multiply that by the amount of people wanting to board the damn bus and it gets pretty annoying at one point. Not considering the fact that it takes also 5 seconds for it to reject, in any case that it is not readable. So time to move it around and for the machine to capt again will take another 10 seconds.

    Catch my drift? really annoying. And it is so not durable. “Because the card is designed for disposability, it isn’t very tough. As a result it gets folded and wrinkled and then becomes unreadable, causing further delays.” from Fagstein’s blog…

    All in all, OPUS card sucks, and I have no clue what the hell did the STM people thought of when they came out with this stupid thing. Retards… They fail at their innovation and couple that with the retarded employees they have, and you have yourself a crappy transportation service

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