Hopes the TCard debacle might be settled by a meeting of the Public Transport Ticketing Corporation (PTTC) last Friday were dashed yesterday when a spokesperson for the PTTC confirmed it had met, but had not reached a decision.
The PTTC and the Minister for Transport need to decide if an agreement made in 2003 with ticketing company ITSL to create a cashless ticketing system, the TCard, for Sydney by November 2006 will be terminated.
The November 2006 implementation deadline came and went with no rollout of the system. On 5 November 2007, Minister for Transport John Watkins ran out of patience, and issued the company a termination notice, stating that the agreement would be ended unless the company could meet certain milestones -- such as a working rail ticketing system. Failing this, the company was required to present remedial plans showing how it intends to roll out the system.
The plan was handed over to the Minister two weeks ago, and it is up to him to work with the PTTC towards a decision on whether the contract should be ended, or if ITSL should be given a chance to implement its remedial plan.
The Minister's office told ZDNet Australia last week that the PTTC would meet on 7 December to discuss the fate of the TCard.
A PTTC spokesperson confirmed yesterday that the meeting took place, but told ZDNet Australia that no decision was reached. "A decision is not expected before Christmas, and is more likely early in the New Year," the spokesperson said.
When asked what the consensus is on the documentation, the spokesperson said that the PTTC is reviewing the remedial plan, but "it is not possible to preempt what the decision will be" as the government has to take appropriate technical, commercial and legal advice before any decision is made.
The finance director of ITSL parent company ERG Group, James Carroll, told ZDNet Australia last month that the TCard is already being trialled on buses in the inner west. However, the PTTC spokesperson said yesterday that it will not expand the pilot to further volunteers at this time due to technical problems that are "currently being rectified".
The PTTC could not provide further information on the nature of the technical problems.