This last point I guess I could chalk up to forgetfulness tax - perhaps it will even train me to remember. A small price to pay I guess, two dollars or so penalty to rewire my brain. Not so costly as to make me do the wrong thing and jump the gate when I realise that I forgot to tap on.
Today however, I realise* that it is a little more costly than I imagined:
Not only do you get charged for a full network journey, but it does not count your trip! Remember that the "weekly travel reward" fare discounting system on the Opal card is based on paying for only 8 trips per week. That means this trip that was charged full price, and not counted in fact cost me $5.67 extra. This changes things a little. I don't know that I will be as inclined to do the right thing at a cost of five dollars.
The whole idea of penalising people for forgetting to tap on or off is a bit wrong in itself if you ask me, but this almost seems like double dipping with the penalty - I mean I did take the trip, you charged me for it, count it. Can't we just presume that most people are honest and charge me for the journey that I usually take? We could do this at the station window if you like - might give the station attendant that used to sell tickets something to do in this new system... The trip at least should count.
Perhaps it is a bug in the system*. Perhaps it will be one that causes quite a bit of extra revenue** in the system: I wonder just how many people are forgetting to tap and as a result paying for 9 or even 10 trips in a week. I wonder would Sydney Trains be inclined to fix this kind of problem if it will be a cost in lost revenue for them to do so.
* Okay, so I did just check on the Opal default fare info page and yes it does mention this. But only mention mind you, I think they should probably point it out more explicitly just how much it will cost you to not tap on or off. And I still think it is too great a penalty, until they have gates at all stations and the only way to "forget" is to "accidentally" jump the gate.
** So not a bug, but I would like to know what percentage of the revenue is trips that are accounted as "No tap to/from xxx"