New public transport ticketing system another step closer

Ian Bushnell 18 August 2021 96
Bus

The days of using MyWay to catch the bus are numbered. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A new public transport ticketing system to replace the MyWay card could be in place by the end of next year.

The timetable for the cashless fare collection solution and integrated real-time passenger information system for both bus and light rail is set out in its new two-stage procurement process, starting as an expression-of-interest approach to industry that will shortlist providers.

This will be followed by a request for proposal to identify the right provider to deliver the new system.

The EOI, which closes on 16 September, comes after a market sounding in May.

The government broke off negotiations with its preferred provider in January after it could not agree on price and returned to a full tender process.

The government has decided to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the COVID-forced move to a cashless environment to pursue a 100 per cent cash-free system, based on paying by credit/debit card and mobile phone.


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Transport Canberra is also seeking to incorporate a real-time passenger information system into any future ticketing system to enable commuters to plan and pay for their journey within the same platform, replacing the current Nxtbus service.

It wants any new ticketing technology to allow users, including disadvantaged groups, to connect with other transport services to simplify journey planning and provide more targeted services.

The EOI document says that the system might also allow users to pay for a range of other services, including demand response services, travel to special events, Park ‘n’ Ride facilities, taxis, bike and ride-share options.

Any new solution will have to cater for concession holders and make the public transport system more accessible to those who most need it.

It should also be easy to use and make for quick boarding and alighting of passengers.

Transport Canberra also wants to minimise fare evasion and fraud, so the new system should incorporate security measures such as a fraud engine that scans all transactions.

It wants the new system to provide not just real-time information for passengers but also a real-time picture of the network and its vehicles for transport managers.

According to the timetable, the government hopes to engage a supplier in February 2022, have MyWay and Nxtbus removed and the new system installed and tested in August, and transition to the new system in October, with a handover in place in November.


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96 Responses to New public transport ticketing system another step closer
Doug Jackson Doug Jackson 3:38 pm 23 Aug 21

Actually - they should simply make the whole system fare free.

I read somewhere that they only recoup 1/3 of the actual cost of running it through fares anyway.

Make the system free and then you don't have to have a multi-tier concession system.

    Larry Larkin Larry Larkin 7:40 pm 23 Aug 21

    It's worse, it recoups less than it costs to run the ticketing system.

Doug Jackson Doug Jackson 3:32 pm 23 Aug 21

Nooooooo - I wonder if they will give me back the money thats on my current card.

kenbehrens kenbehrens 8:30 am 23 Aug 21

I’ve seen so many passengers get on now, without a card or a card with no money on it, knowing that because TC isn’t collecting cash fares, they can ride for free. Most of us pay, but there are a lot who choose not to.
Don’t worry scammers, you still won’t have to pay, if they introduce a new ticketing system. All you have to do is leave your wallet containing your credit and debit cards at home or claim it was stolen and you can continue to ride for free
because the Government is too soft.

selivia selivia 1:24 am 23 Aug 21

The current pre-paid card system works fine. Changing it will disadvantage huge groups of the public which are the ones who have to use the system.
Reliance on credit cards is out of the question – too many people from school children to pensioners do not have credit cards and the suggestion contradicts the push towards responsible money management and reduction of ever increasing debt.
NEVER use tap and go on a personal bank card – it encourages and facilitates fraud and identity theft, same with having personal bank details on the leaky sieve of mobile phone systems.
It is possible already to prevent any reliance on physical cash transactions. It requires that a card can be purchased easily at convenience stores and news agencies rather than trying to find a MyWay shopfront. It works successfully on the Melbourne, Sydney and London systems from personal experience.

    JC JC 11:25 am 23 Aug 21

    They are still going to have a dedicated card.

    And btw as I mentioned in another thread whilst Myway may well work the hardware is quite old and in short supply and there is a lot more people want it to do that the current system cannot do.

    And BTW tap and go doesn’t encourage fraud, it is actually safer than swiping or inserting a card into a machine and tap and go uses the same RFID technology as Myway style cards.

selivia selivia 1:12 am 23 Aug 21

Really bad ideas. There is no need to replace MyWay, but perhaps to expand it a little to automatically un-tag any card still registered on the bus/light-rail on the system at the end of the route (like the Oyster Card in London which has been running successfully for decades).
There is already track and tracing facility suitable for the current Covid tracking embedded in the system so no additional tracking is necessary and would border on a police state and breach privacy.
All current and any new public system introduced on government systems is fraught with hacking and allows direct access for spammers and pfishing calls and emails (as happens immediately following any use of MyGov sites).

Brent Hunter Brent Hunter 6:45 pm 22 Aug 21

The Geocon Card?

ChrisinTurner ChrisinTurner 1:27 pm 18 Aug 21

The cost of buying this new system and operating it should be weighed against making the whole network fare-free. to encourage more patronage. A recent US example increased journeys 20%.

Des Jeremic Des Jeremic 6:15 pm 17 Aug 21

Hhmmm....by any other name , real time contact tracing / monitoring

Samina Ahmad Samina Ahmad 11:39 pm 16 Aug 21

Some countries don't charge for public transport Australia shouldn't either

Lot of people can't afford food let alone transport

    Douglas Taylor Douglas Taylor 12:26 am 17 Aug 21

    Samina Ahmad If public transport was free then poor people would have freedom of movement. You can't rule slaves if you don't control where they live

Leanne Duffy Leanne Duffy 8:02 pm 16 Aug 21

As long as pensioners still have free travel during off peak. I don't care. If I need a credit/visa like card. I'll get a prepaid one from the post office.

Birchy Birchy Birchy Birchy 6:52 pm 16 Aug 21

How many have they tried?

Peter Wurth Peter Wurth 6:27 pm 16 Aug 21

Another kick back for the same people who ordered the MyWay card in the first place plus those electric buses !!!!

Great work TC .

Ray Mcgee Ray Mcgee 5:54 pm 16 Aug 21

Can they make it so online payments are instant and don’t take 5 days to load. With today’s technology surely can transfer faster then that.

Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 5:53 pm 16 Aug 21

yes and a 5% fee to the bank each time and another point of data collection. no thanks.

kenbehrens kenbehrens 5:43 pm 16 Aug 21

The scammers ride free now because “cash” isn’t accepted. When TC goes “cashless”, the scammers just won’t have their wallets!

    JC JC 8:14 pm 22 Aug 21

    And yet most systems around the world cope with this very issue day in day out.

Karl Craig Karl Craig 5:21 pm 16 Aug 21

The fact that you can't just get a card simply means anyone involved with that decision needs to be fired

    Susan Hryckiewicz Susan Hryckiewicz 1:58 pm 23 Aug 21

    Actually, everyone involved in the public transport system, specially the executives responsible for route scheduling, should have to spend at least 1 month per year using only public transport (ie no company or private cars, taxis, etc). Then we would see the system start to improve.

bj_ACT bj_ACT 4:57 pm 16 Aug 21

The high level story is good if they can get it right this time. If they’d implemented the new ticketing system back in 2016 when first promised, then it probably would have given Transport Canberra better passenger data to avoid the 2019 bus redesign debacle. Removing or changing some of the high patronage bus routes was crazy.

As for free buses. I don’t know how the people who live near one of the 700 bus stops the government removed in 2019 would feel about paying for other people’s bus services. Or all those people from Tuggeranong or Belconnen who suddenly had slower work or school commutes after the network change.

Canberra Transport don’t have a great record of delivering on their promises around: increased bus use; accurate travel information; bus service reliability; and better ticketing systems. It’s been a litany of failures for many years.

Lisa Geraghty Lisa Geraghty 4:19 pm 16 Aug 21

Well that's a priority right now.

Martin Ross Martin Ross 4:19 pm 16 Aug 21

What should happen is that the next one be able to recognise Opal

    Susan Hryckiewicz Susan Hryckiewicz 1:55 pm 23 Aug 21

    Definitely. And extend it in both directions to all the capital city transport cards across Australia.

Chris Gamé Chris Gamé 3:55 pm 16 Aug 21

Go back to the old school quarterly and monthly tickets from back in the 80’s and early 90’s. You could catch any bus anywhere and do it as many times as you liked… no rubbish zones. Action was a better service back then!

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