The ACT Government’s decision to start an open tender process for a new transport ticketing system to replace MyWay has been attacked by the Canberra Liberals as another broken promise.
The government has opted to return to a full tender process for a replacement ticketing technology for bus and light rail after the failure of negotiations with its preferred provider, pushing out the adoption of a new system to 2023.
Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the government would go to tender after determining that what was on offer did not represent value for money.
“It’s disappointing that we did not get the outcome we had hoped, but we still remain committed to procuring a new public transport ticketing system for Canberra,” Mr Steel said.
“We want a ticketing system that provides the right technology solution for our city, but it has to be a system that is value for money.”
Mr Steel said the government would test the market later this year for a public transport ticketing system that included more flexible payment options and a real-time app for customers to track services and plan their journey.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to access bus and light rail services through an account-based system that enables fares to be paid using mobile phones or tapping on and off with a credit card,” he said.
But Canberra Liberals transport spokesperson Mark Parton said that after years of spruiking a new transport ticketing system, the government was back to square one.
He said the ticketing upgrade had been on the agenda since 2016, and the government promised that a contract would be awarded by mid-2020.
“Now the minister has admitted that the behind-closed-doors negotiations with one provider has failed and will start the whole process again with an open tender process,” he said.
“The deadline for delivery has been pushed back to 2023, some seven years after it was first promised.”
Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) chair Ryan Hemsley said it was highly regrettable that this long-promised upgrade was facing further delays.
”From a public transport equity and usage perspective, making the network easier to use by providing more ticketing options is clearly a no-brainer,” he said.
”Hopefully, this new tender process opens the door for the type of innovative and user-friendly payment methods being adopted in New South Wales, which have proven incredibly popular.”
Mr Parton said the decision was the latest in a growing list of broken promises and delays, including the Canberra Hospital expansion and the construction of light rail Stage 2.