The New South Wales Government is set to expand its $1.2 billion integrated e-ticketing project currently being rolled out by Cubic Transportation Systems to Sydney's light rail network, the transport minister revealed today.
Speaking at a CEDA event in Sydney today, NSW Transportation Minister Gladys Berejiklian said that the government began considering the integration of light rail into the e-ticketing system after the inclusion of light rail in the city's new fare zone structure, which caused a spike in ticket sales.
"We integrated, very early on, light rail into the MyZone ticketing structure. Since 27 June, anyone with a current MyMulti transport ticket or pensioner excursion or family ticket, now for the first time, are able to use those tickets on ... light rail services and that has been very popular.
"In the first four weeks ... there were a total of over 106,000 tickets sold and 42 per cent of those were [bought] as a result of the changes," Berejiklian said.
Berejiklian said that while the government's integrated e-ticketing project was still over a year away from delivery, train passengers would see the first infrastructure being rolled out in railway stations shortly.
"The introduction of the electronic ticketing system is a huge job, but you will start to see the system being rolled out from late next year when we begin to test it on ferries, followed by the rail network and then onto buses," she said.
"In fact, quite soon you're going to see some progress in railway stations when we will begin to put in the wiring and power supply to the poles that the [tag points] will be on across railway stations in NSW."
Sydney will be one of the last cities in the country with an integrated e-ticketing system by the time it rolls out to Sydney Ferries in 2012. Other cities like Launceston, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth already have well-advanced e-ticketing initiatives in place.
A survey of 8000 Australian commuters recently revealed that smart, integrated ticketing systems are now considered a must for public transport services.
The previous Labor Government promised an integrated ticking system in time for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, which morphed into the Tcard initiative, which collapsed after the then-transport minister, John Watkins, cancelled the contract with the company responsible after it allegedly failed to deliver on key project goals.
The failed Tcard project has become the centre of a legal imbroglio, which is yet to go before the courts.