SA awards $30m e-ticketing contract

SA awards $30m e-ticketing contract

Summary: SA Transport Minister Patrick Conlon announced yesterday that Adelaide will have an electronic public transport ticketing scheme by 2013.

TOPICS: Hardware

SA Transport Minister Patrick Conlon said that the state had awarded a $30 million contract to IT services company Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to implement an electronic ticketing system for the state by 2013.

Patrick Conlon
(Credit: Government of
South Australia)

"Our current ticketing system has been in place for nearly 24 years — it has served us well but it is time to replace it as we continue our massive public transport revitalisation," Conlon said in a release. "We expect to see the new smart card ticketing system in operation by 2013 in time for the commencement of electric rail services in Adelaide."

ACS, a subsidiary of the Xerox corporation, would be responsible for the manufacturing, testing, installation, technical support and maintenance of the ticketing and fare collecting system, which it has called ATLAS.

The company has already supplied Adelaide with its existing Crouzet ticketing system.

"We are taking advantage of proven technology, with this system and equipment already in operation in cities overseas such as Montreal, Houston and Toulouse," the transport minister said. "Adelaide also has the advantage of an existing integrated fare and ticketing system supported by the smart card system."

Adelaide will be following Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney in adopting an e-ticketing system for its public transport.

However, Sydney's push to introduce a ticketing system has encountered issues, with the cancellation of the signed contract with vendor ITSL and the start of a new tendering process in the works.

Melbourne has just rolled out its ticketing system on trains, but has yet to implement the system on buses or trams. Perth and Brisbane have working systems.

Current Adelaide public transport tickets will remain valid after the introduction of the new system.

Topic: Hardware

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  • Don't reinvent the wheel

    I hope the new ticket is an off the shelf solution that works, like the London Oyster card. That's what SA did in 1987 with the Crouzet tickets - off the shelf and it worked more or less on day 1. In the mid 90s the Victorian government paid over $400 million for Metcard, developed from scratch and came out almost identical to Crouzet but with heaps of technical problems.
  • Everything is different

    Yes there are systems already around the world that are working..However an electronic smartcard ticketing system is not like a PC where you can plug it in, turn it on and it will work..Like all large projects every customer has different requirements. Unlike a software or hardware implementation, a ticketing system has software, hardware, back office operations, point of sale, maybe infrastructure. Overlay that with different fair rules, government policy.

    London Oyster, Hong Kong Octopus, Brisbane Go Card and nearly all other projects around the world have had issues. This is because electronic ticketing is not simple.

    If your theory that you just pick up an existing system was correct, then why did Brisbane have a lot of issues when that system was implemented by Cubic (Oyster) or why did ERG , who had a large role in Hong Kong, prime contractor forSan Franciscois Sydney, who have now had their contract cancelled when they had a
  • Same card across Australia?

    Firstly, Mr Anonymous is right. Integrated ticketing system is not an off the shelf product and need to customise for its own environment. Every city has its own fare structure, supporting different public transport platform, backward compatibility with existing systems etc. Being able to work in one city does not guarantee will work in other.

    Just a thought, it seems every state is getting its own smartcard system and its at approximately the same stage. Why not having one card that can be used around Australia? As a whole this will probably cost less in implementation, supporting structure, and much more convenient for every Australia citizen. This will probably be more complicated but I know the card is capable of having multiple "wallets" in them.
  • Agree

    Yep same card would make a lot of sense. If you integrated system then you could use your card all over Australia.

    I think this could still be done down the road as you can use your e-tags on most toll ways around Australia regardless of your provider.

    I think some of the future interest will be from credit card providers where you can use your credit card rather than the proprietary smartcard.

    Also what got chopped from my first post is that Oyster and Octopus are getting nearly 10 and 15 years since originally designed. So would you install a Pentium III with Win2000 or Pentium I with Win 95? It may be stable but technology has moved on. Especially on the security side. Recent testing on the Oyster card has shown the 1K card can be easily hacked.

    Also hardware does not last forever and most of the pre contactless systems are no longer being manufactured and spare parts are being an issue

    Hopefully Adelaide can keep it simple.