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Smartcards for Canberra buses moving forward

By johnboy 8 July 2009 45

Jon Stanhope has announced that moves to smartcard ticketing on ACTION buses are progressing with Downer EDI Engineering Power Pty Ltd signing up to replicate the SmartRider system they built for Perth.

    “Canberrans can look forward to a new ticketing system that is fast, easy and flexible,” Mr Stanhope said. “It will offer bus users a reusable and rechargeable card for travel on all ACTION buses.

    “Bus users will be able to recharge their smartcard over the internet, phone or at other card facilities across the ACT. A one-use ticket will also be available for casual users and tourists.

    “Bus users will be required to tag-on and tag-off buses, which will significantly improve ACTION’s capacity to monitor passenger trends and make adjustments to meet changes in demand.

Have any of you had any exposure to the Perth system? Care to share the experience?

What’s Your opinion?


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45 Responses to
Smartcards for Canberra buses moving forward
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ML-585 11:42 am 10 Jul 09

Pandy said :

$10 to buy the card and then it has to be topped up with a minimum amount?!!!!! Do I hear gouging going on?

That’s also how it works in Brisbane/SE Qld – the $10 is a refundable deposit which can be applied towards a fare if the main credit has expired. This also answers dvaey’s question about what happens to school children who don’t have the money to get to school or home.
At least a credit card-style card will be more resiliant than the current tickets. You should see the condition that some school term tickets end up in.

Pandy 8:59 am 09 Jul 09

$10 to buy the card and then it has to be topped up with a minimum amount?!!!!! Do I hear gouging going on?

Very Busy 6:54 am 09 Jul 09

ChrisinTurner said :

To speed up the buses, I hope ACTION follows Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (and the rest of the world) by allowing their drivers to open the rear doors at all stops.

At every stop? no, that would slow the bus down. To open the rear doors an extra brake needs to be activated which takes time to release again. The doors are slower to close and the bus cannot be moved until the doors are completely closed. You would only speed things up if several people at the rear of the bus are exiting – not at every stop.

dvaey 5:31 am 09 Jul 09

Instead of throwing bucketloads of cash at some new fangled scheme which probably wont work properly anyway (given our governments previous projects), why dont they just put that money into making bus services more affordable or even free, to encourage more people to use them, rather than bringing in more systems to discourage use. What happens for school kids who forget to ‘tag off’ then dont have money to get to school.. or get home?

Also, the idea of contactless smartcards sounds okay in theory, but if youve got a bus card, credit card, and who knows what else as an RFID card, do you really want to be waving your wallet in front of a bus reader? Even passport RFID systems have been cracked what makes Stanhope think our bus tickets will be any better?

ChrisinTurner 12:18 am 09 Jul 09

To speed up the buses, I hope ACTION follows Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (and the rest of the world) by allowing their drivers to open the rear doors at all stops.

Also, we could try following the Sydney (and London) trend of making their busy routes “pre-paid fares only” during peak hours. This removes the cash transactions that slow down the buses so much.

On some “pre-paid only routes” in Europe they use bendy buses with four double-doors that are all available for both entry and exit. Boy are they fast!

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