Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

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Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#1 Post by crawf » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:35 pm

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IT HAS come to this: the State Government will buy the relics of Brisbane's obsolete ticketing system after ending an eight-year dream of a transport smartcard.

As Brisbane joins Perth and moves to its own Tcard, Translink, Brisbane's transport authority, has confirmed the NSW Government is trying to obtain 300 of Brisbane's 15-year-old magnetic stripe machines to bolster Sydney's ageing system
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The purchase - a month after the Transport Minister, John Watkins, terminated the Government's contract with the Tcard developer, ERG Limited - shows the Government is trying to patch together a ticketing system that is in tatters.

Thousands of public and private buses are using obsolete ticket machines which need to be replaced.

And rail commuters continue to face long queues at CityRail stations partly because its ticket machines often break down.

In the month to last Wednesday, there were 691 recorded breakdowns of the 460 ticket machines across the network.

CityRail says it is trying to reduce ticket queues, including using roving ticket sellers, but an overhaul of magnetic stripe ticketing systems has been put off for almost a decade in the hope the Tcard would make it redundant.

The decision to axe ERG sent its share price down. ERG remains in a trading halt with shares at 4.5 cents.

But now the State Government has to renegotiate with the Perth company an expired maintenance contract for about 4000 ageing bus ticket machines, which use ERG technology from 1993.

ERG's director of operations, Steve Gallagher, said they had a steadily worsening failure rate. "[That] ticketing equipment is well past its design life," he said. "It is two generations old."

State Transit may need to contract ERG staff to integrate the 300 Brisbane machines so that they fit Sydney's buses.

Taxpayers could be forced to subsidise private buses if old ticketing machines fail to properly record fares.

A Ministry of Transport spokeswoman, Chrissy Flanagan, said the bus operators' contracts with the ministry would allow them to claim losses from revenue leakage.

She added that this was because ERG failed to deliver the new ticketing system on time, but a some of the delay was the Government's fault.

The Bus and Coach Association estimates that a third of the 2500 private buses that service Sydney use ticket machines that are obsolete and that have been cannibalised to keep them going.

Half the fleet report difficulties servicing ageing but not yet obsolete equipment, and the association says the entire industry will need a replacement system within 18 months.

Its executive director, Darryl Mellish, said the industry needed "urgent action from the Government to enable an interim solution to be arrived at in months and not years".

"Private operators have been anxiously awaiting a new ticketing system to be able to offer multiple ride discounts and cashless buses to their passengers," he said. "Now it is again up in the air."

The acting chief executive of State Transit, Peter Rowley, said services were running as normal as the Tcard readers and consoles were removed and replaced with the older magnetic stripe machines.

"State Transit's ticket validation system consistently performs at higher than 99 per cent availability," he said.

"However, there are 15,000 scheduled services a day carrying 600,000 passengers, and with these kind of numbers, the odd machine fault is to be expected."

Russell Mahoney, a spokesman for Mr Watkins, said the immediate issues of ageing equipment and the school Tcard were among matters being addressed by an "expert panel".

"The Government has convened an expert panel to determine the short-, medium- and long-term future of electronic ticketing in Sydney," Mr Mahoney said.

"They'll look at what can be taken from the existing project, and how the Government can move forward in choosing a new integrated ticketing system for Sydney."

Lol not bad for Australias only global city :lol:

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#2 Post by frank1 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:56 pm

It's nice to know that Adelaide is not the only city with aging transportation systems.
Ha!, Sydney is always so ahead of the times :roll: (as Adelaide people always hear)

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#3 Post by AG » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:03 pm

Transport is one of the biggest issues in Sydney, moreso than any other location. There have been all sorts of issues on Sydney's road and rail system that have dominated the headlines in recent years ranging from the Cross City Tunnel debacle, the flop of the PPP consortium for the Sydney Airport Rail Link, the tangle of tracks that is the CityRail network which is now being untangled with turnbacks and extra tracks, and more recently the Chatswood to Epping Link cutback and issues with rollingstock. Within that, there are a few ups, one being the success of the PPP for the delivery of the M7 Westlink Motorway.

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#4 Post by monotonehell » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:09 am

I remember those ticketing machines in Qld. They seemed very inefficient, the drivers spent ages working them when passengers boarded.
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#5 Post by Cruise » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:19 am

Newsflash!!! we are no better, Adelaide buys Brisbane's old buses

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#6 Post by AG » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:10 am

Cruise wrote:Newsflash!!! we are no better, Adelaide buys Brisbane's old buses
It's more of an exchange, Brisbane buys some of Adelaide's old buses as well. :lol:

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Re: Sydney to buy Brisbanes old ticketing system

#7 Post by Norman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:31 pm

It was 2 or 3 only anyway.

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