27 February 2023

Supplier finally secured for Canberra's new public transport ticketing system

| Claire Fenwicke
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MyWay card tap on tap off point

While MyWay cards will still be a thing, you’ll also be able to tap on and tap off using debit and credit cards or devices such as your phone or smartwatch. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Seven years after it was first flagged, a supplier has been secured to deliver Canberra’s new smart public transport ticketing system.

NEC Australia has signed a contract to design and develop a cashless system, which will update the current MyWay card.

It will be called MyWay+, which Transport Minister Chris Steel said would shake up the way we pay to catch public transport.

“Major changes to our public transport experience include a simpler payment process, with the ability to tap on and off public transport using debit and credit cards and devices such as your phone or smartwatch, in addition to the traditional travel card or paper ticket,” he said.

“Once established, the new mobile application will be available to download from Google Play and the Apple Store.”

The system will also contain real-time passenger information and a journey planner.

It’s expected to deliver personalised public transport-related messages, alerts, and information on whether bus seats are available.

“Customers will be able to plan their journey, track the arrival of their next service, and pay for their travel, all from a web portal or mobile app,” Mr Steel said.

“This is about making it as easy and convenient as possible to use public transport by providing more payment options for customers and better real-time information.”

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Another element of MyWay+ is a “multi-modal journey planning application” across light rail, bus, cycling, walking, e-scooter and rideshare/taxi options.

Accessibility information, including transportation mode, accessible stops/stations and paths will also be included.

Customers are expected to be able to customise journeys based on preferences such as cost, duration, carbon footprint and active travel components.

It will also be designed for future integration with cross-jurisdictional services such as Queanbeyan.

A design and development process will take place over the next 12 months by NEC Australia’s Canberra-based team to make sure it’s suitable for the ACT.

They will also maintain the new system once it’s up and running.

Once the design and development process was completed, Mr Steel said it would immediately be implemented with a potential staged transition period flagged.

“Now we have a contract in place, we will work closely with NEC Australia to finalise transition details for the rollout,” Mr Steel said.

“The switch to a new public transport ticketing system has many components so we will work closely with the community and stakeholder groups to ensure a seamless transition.”

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About 25 ticket vending machines will need to be installed across the public transport system, along with more than 1,000 new validators on Transport Canberra buses and light rail platforms.

NEC Australia Critical Infrastructure, Smart Transport and IoT general manager Richard Duggan suggested everyone sign up for Transport Canberra’s e-news for updates as the project progressed.

“NEC will provide a strong focus on smart ticketing, operational intelligence, safety and security, and with it a better customer experience for ACT customers,” he said.

The road to the new system has been plagued by delays, with a timetable released in August 2021 stating the government had hoped to engage a supplier in February 2022, with a transition to the new system in October of the same year.

The ACT Government returned to a full tender process after it stopped negotiations with its preferred provider in January 2021.

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I wonder if they can actually come to terms with multiple cards linked to one account (as you can with a credit card) so each household doesn’t have to manage separate accounts for each ticket holder.

Capital Retro4:25 pm 28 Feb 23

Now all that is needed are some passengers.

GrumpyGrandpa3:49 pm 28 Feb 23

“Transport Minister Chris Steel said would shake up the way we pay to catch public transport”.
Minister, it’s taken 7 years! Don’t you mean” We are now catching up to other juristictions”?

Your Journey Planner is absolute Rubbish. I frequently need to revert back to timetables to find connections that Journey Planner ignores.

As far as being “cashless”, TC has been “cashless since Covid. Its also “Fare Optional”, with no effort by the government to enforce collection from the fare evaders. And No Minister, having the option to pay via phones, credit or debit cards won’t change a thing. Scammers will still evade fares, unless you enforce collection!

Minister, as pleased as I am for the announcement of the new ticketing system, it all means
“jack” unless you fix your network. 2-hourly services after midday on Saturday and all of Sunday are pathetic.
If you want to do some serious basking in glory, fix your Network! People want a good network more than they want better payment options (because, as mentioned before, payment of fares is optional anyway).

Tom Worthington3:25 pm 28 Feb 23

Will the new ACT ticket system be compatible with NSW? If not, why not?

Disinformation9:54 pm 28 Feb 23

Why would you bother doing the effort of integration for the absolute minority of people when you would expect anyone in NSW to just load up their local application? Lots of effort for absolutely no reward. That’s why not.

Why does it need to be? You’re going to be able to pay by credit card on ACT buses, same as you can already pay by credit card on many NSW buses.

Sounds ambitious. Would be fantastic if it delivers on all of those features, but just being able to pay with contactless cards will be improvement enough

Disinformation9:56 pm 28 Feb 23

They’re already contactless. You don’t HAVE to touch them for them to read. Just hold them steady close above the reader. The data transfer does actually take time. You can go and read about MiFare2 cards if you could be bothered.

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