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Why transport smart card projects go bad

Melbourne's $1.3 billion myki smart card ticketing system still hasn't been rolled out to buses or trams even after experts were flown in two months ago. Sydney's Tcard project was cancelled and now they're starting again. What can we learn from these transport IT disasters?

Melbourne's $1.3 billion myki smart card ticketing system still hasn't been rolled out to buses or trams even after experts were flown in two months ago. Sydney's Tcard project was cancelled and now it's starting again. What can we learn from these transport IT disasters?

Tom Worthington, apart from teaching computer science at the Australian National University, has a strong personal interest in transport ticketing systems. In this week's Patch Monday he explains that it comes down to IT project basics.

Don't just implement an electronic version of the existing ticket and fare structures, but do some analysis first. Simplify things. Don't assume that smart cards will automatically solve your problems. And don't forget to involve all of the stakeholders from the very beginning.

Worthington also reveals his own favourite transport ticketing system — and it's not in Australia.

Plus we have the usual idiosyncratic look at the week's IT news headlines.

To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

(Running Time: 21 min 29 sec)

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