Why transport smart card projects go bad

Why transport smart card projects go bad

Summary: 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?

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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)

Topics: Government, Emerging Tech, Government AU

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.

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  • I don't know why they didn't just take lessons from Perth,WA. Now I have no idea whether it's good or not, but it "Just Works" and is rather simple, can be setup with bpay, there are kiosks where you can add credit and retailers surrounding the station tend to have machines for topping them up.
    techman83-6d605
  • seems that all IT projects implemented at all levels of govmnt are in trouble.seems like a new shonk industry is born,or another insulation fiasco,because the $$$$s are being spent by the tech. illiterate.the career builders etc..
    thomas vesely