Vix awarded AU$27m contract to build Malaysia transit ticketing system

Smart ticketing and payment systems are set to unify across Malaysia's bus, train, metro, and monorail networks, with the solution to be rolled out by 2017.

Australian technology solutions provider Vix Technology has won a AU$27 million contract with the Malaysian government to unify the country's mass transit system under one ticketing and payment system.

The company, which in addition to building solutions for public transport smart ticketing and payment provides real-time information and data-management systems, will be involved from start to finish: It has been contracted to design, install, operate, and maintain the service that will unify the bus, train, metro, and monorail networks, and is set to roll out in early 2017.

"With the help of partners like Vix Technology, here in Malaysia, we're leading the world in the development of a unified public transportation system with the ability to use a single smartcard across all modes of transport, making travel simpler, faster, and more convenient," Mohamad Nur Ismal Bin Mohamed Kamal, CEO of Land Public Transport Commission Malaysia, said at the announcement on Thursday.

The CEO of Vix Technology, Steve Gallagher, said the solution it builds for the Malaysian transit system will enable users to pay with any number of technologies, such as EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) microchips embedded in debit and credit cards, and NFC-compatible phones.

"We're really excited to help the Malaysian government deliver on its vision for a more integrated and seamless public transport journey for Malaysians, which will bring the country into line with some of the most advanced integrated public transit networks in the world," Gallagher said.

"In the future, commuters will no longer need to carry multiple cards in their pockets every time they want to travel, making the transit network a lot more convenient and user friendly for locals and tourists alike."

The company will use the opportunity to set up a centre for its Asian operations in Malaysia, and signalled its intent to employ 45 staff members in the region.

Vix Technology has rolled out smart ticketing and payment systems for the public transit networks all over the world, including in Singapore; Yorkshire and London in the UK; Seattle and Salt Lake City in the US; Belgium; Oise, Orleans, Rouen, Bordeaux, Dijon, and St Etienne in France; Bolzano, Italy; Wellington, New Zealand; Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; and Capetown, South Africa.

Vix Technology's recent contract to build a modern payment clearing house for the newest train line in Bangkok was worth AU$10 million.

The company claims it has more than 140 million users worldwide, and established the first smart transit ticketing system in the world in 1987, in Darwin, Australia. It was also responsible for building the largest online clearing house in the world for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which could process over 10 million public transport journeys per day.

The company recently upgraded the infrastructure for Melbourne's Myki ticketing system. The original Myki project was fraught with problems, with Victorian Auditor-General John Doyle last month calling it "vaguely specified and overly ambitious" -- it went over budget by 55 percent, costing the government AU$550 million more than its initial AU$1 billion planned budget. Public Transport Victoria will be re-tendering the contract next year.