In a statement issued this morning, Bracks said the new system would go live in 2007 under the terms of a 12-year, AU$494 million deal with the Keane Australia Micropayment Consortium (Kamco).
The new system will allow passengers to use a single plastic smartcard to travel on a network that spans 270 railway stations, 480 trams and 1,650 buses. They would be able to store value on their cards via self-service machines, the telephone or the Internet.
Keane alliance members include Keane Australia, Ascom, ERG and Giesecke and Devrient (G and D) Australasia. According to the statement, Keane is to supply the tech backbone of the system, Ascom the fare collection and terminal management system, ERG installation and management of the fare collection equipment and G and D the smartcards themselves.
The contract was awarded after a nine-month tender process, Bracks said.
ERG said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange its share of the deal was around AU$106 million.