18 August 2021

New public transport ticketing system another step closer

| Ian Bushnell
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The days of using MyWay to catch the bus are numbered. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A new public transport ticketing system to replace the MyWay card could be in place by the end of next year.

The timetable for the cashless fare collection solution and integrated real-time passenger information system for both bus and light rail is set out in its new two-stage procurement process, starting as an expression-of-interest approach to industry that will shortlist providers.

This will be followed by a request for proposal to identify the right provider to deliver the new system.

The EOI, which closes on 16 September, comes after a market sounding in May.

The government broke off negotiations with its preferred provider in January after it could not agree on price and returned to a full tender process.

The government has decided to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the COVID-forced move to a cashless environment to pursue a 100 per cent cash-free system, based on paying by credit/debit card and mobile phone.

Transport Canberra is also seeking to incorporate a real-time passenger information system into any future ticketing system to enable commuters to plan and pay for their journey within the same platform, replacing the current Nxtbus service.

It wants any new ticketing technology to allow users, including disadvantaged groups, to connect with other transport services to simplify journey planning and provide more targeted services.

The EOI document says that the system might also allow users to pay for a range of other services, including demand response services, travel to special events, Park ‘n’ Ride facilities, taxis, bike and ride-share options.

Any new solution will have to cater for concession holders and make the public transport system more accessible to those who most need it.

It should also be easy to use and make for quick boarding and alighting of passengers.

Transport Canberra also wants to minimise fare evasion and fraud, so the new system should incorporate security measures such as a fraud engine that scans all transactions.

It wants the new system to provide not just real-time information for passengers but also a real-time picture of the network and its vehicles for transport managers.

According to the timetable, the government hopes to engage a supplier in February 2022, have MyWay and Nxtbus removed and the new system installed and tested in August, and transition to the new system in October, with a handover in place in November.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on The RiotACT.

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