Negotiations deliver new, slimmer myki

Summary:Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu today unveiled new parameters for the state's troubled myki ticketing project as a result of negotiations with myki contractor Kamco's parent company NTT Data.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu today unveiled new parameters for the state's troubled myki ticketing project as a result of negotiations with myki contractor Kamco's parent company NTT Data.

(Timetable TripUp image by MrPbps, CC2.0)

The new scope of the project will see V/Line intercity trains and long-distance V/Line coach services go without the ticketing system. The ticketing system will still be used in Melbourne and on V/Line's commuter belt to Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon. However, trams will operate without smart-card ticket vending machines once Metcard equipment is removed.

The system has experienced significant delays and budget blowouts, as well as operational difficulties, such as tickets being topped up with more than they should and the system prematurely working on trams before it was ready. Despite these setbacks, the government has chosen to go ahead with the troubled system, with the reasoning that too much has already been invested to scrap it.

"The costs of paying out the existing contract, removing the existing system infrastructure and funding a new system would be far higher than the funding required to make myki work," said Baillieu.

He said that the government had been meeting with NTT Data to avoid a repeat of myki's poor project performance.

"Improved project management governance and key performance measures will be a key part of the revised ticketing contract," he said.

In addition, the government will appoint a third-party certifier to oversee the remaining build phase and a rigorous testing and project oversight regime that will report during critical evaluation points.

The announcement today would enable final negotiations for the revised contract to proceed with the local subsidiary, according to the minister.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder blamed the previous setbacks on the previous Labor government.

"Many problems with the myki ticketing system originated with the inadequate contract the Brumby Labor Government entered into which did not include appropriate governance, project management or financial controls for a project of this size and complexity," Mulder said.

Metcard operations are expected to continue until the end of 2012, if the government's negotiations go to plan. This will ensure that the myki system is working reliably before Metcard is phased out completely.

Topics: Government, Government : AU

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A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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