Transport for London has terminated its contract with the Transys consortium that provides the Oyster ticketing system for the London Underground, buses and trams.
The consortium, which comprises EDS and Cubic, will continue to operate the system for the next two years. However, TfL has confirmed that the consortium owns the Oyster brand, leaving confusion over how the transistion to any replacement system would be implemented.
A spokesperson for TfL insisted that the contract had been terminated due to business reasons, and not because of two consecutive outages that hit London over two weeks last month. The spokesperson also said that Dutch security researchers cracking the Oyster card had nothing to do with the decision.
"It was pure coincidence," said the spokesperson on Friday in the UK. "We've been reviewing this for some time. It's all based around savings. That's the only reason to terminate the contract."
The spokesperson declined to go into the details of what criteria TfL had used to judge that it was not getting value for money from the Transys contract. However, TfL decided to terminate the contract now as this is a break period.
"There's a 10-year break period, with a two-year notice period," said the spokesperson.
Transys will continue to operate the Oyster system until 2010, the consortium stated, but negotiations for a revamp of the 10-year-old system were not successful.
"The London transport system has changed dramatically over the past 10 years," Transys said in a statement. "For the benefit of all stakeholders, contract negotiations have been taking place over the last year between Transys and TfL. The Transys consortium will continue to operate and deliver for the next two years."
The procurement process for a replacement system operator is imminent. Any new system would have to be established and capable of supporting the increase in use expected for the London 2012 Olympics.