NSW Minister for Transport and Roads David Campbell yesterday announced that a consortium of companies including Cubic Transportation Systems, Downer EDI and the Commonwealth Bank had been selected as preferred suppliers of Sydney's $1.2 billion electronic ticketing system.
The system would be rolled out onto public transport "by the end of 2012", according to a media release issued by Campbell's office on Sunday.
(Credit: NSW Government)
The winning group — named the Pearl Consortium — was selected following an "extensive assessment process during which proposals were evaluated against criteria including technical, delivery, financial and economic outcomes", according to the release.
After it was revealed the minister had missed a self-imposed deadline of announcing a winner in the first quarter of 2010, Campbell told ZDNet.com.au that he wanted to "get this process right" and the victor would be selected within weeks on 1 April.
"The new system will allow commuters to tap on and tap off from different modes of transport — trains, government and private buses, and government ferries," Campbell said in the release yesterday. "It will operate in a similar way to an e-tag — each card or tag can be linked to an account from which the price of the journey will be automatically deducted."
He said commuters would be able to top up their accounts "online or arrange to have automatic deductions made from a linked bank account or credit card". Commuters would also be able to load cash on the card through retail outlets, he said.
"It will be rolled out across the greater Sydney public transport network, including in Newcastle and the Hunter region, as well as Wollongong and the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.
"We anticipate the system will begin to be rolled out onto public transport by the end of 2012."
On 9 March last year, successful entities for the last round in the selection process were the Glide Consortium, the Pearl Consortium and Scheidt & Bachmann. Three months later on 5 June, the Glide Consortium dropped out leaving only the Pearl Consortium and Scheidt & Bachmann to battle it out. Campbell thanked the losing consortium.
"The second proponent — Scheidt & Bachmann Gateway team — also submitted a substantial bid and we thank them for their proposal," Campbell said. The contract with the winning party would be "finalised shortly and formally awarded as soon as possible".
This is the second time the NSW Government has awarded a ticketing contract to a vendor. The last contract was cancelled by the government after the previous contractor, ERG, did not meet milestones. The government is currently in a court battle with the company in an effort to recoup costs.
The new successful bidder has also previously been embroiled in legal action with the government. Cubic challenged the government's original awarding of the ticketing contract to ERG at the beginning of the decade.