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THE company that botched the troubled myki will slug taxpayers another $50 million to fix a system shortcoming.
Melbourne is one of the few leading cities in the world that does not allow commuters to swipe mobile phones or credit cards at turnstiles — despite it being a requirement of the original myki contract.
Now, the Herald Sun can reveal that as part of a new contract estimated to be between $650 million and $800 million to upgrade myki and run the system for another seven years, taxpayers will be hit with about $50 million to set up a cordless swipe system.
Sources have revealed at least 25,000 myki gates would need to be ripped out or retrofitted.
The tender process for the new myki contract is a closely guarded secret.
But in an embarrassing leak for the State Government, the Herald Sun has seen a Public Transport Victoria letter dated May 2 this year, revealing current operator NTT Data has won the contract, over Cubic, which runs London’s Oyster card and Sydney’s Opal card.
The Herald Sun can also reveal that Cubic, which also allows commuters to use iWatch, Apple Pay and Google Wallet at turnstiles, approached the government in recent weeks with an unsolicited proposal promising to have passengers using their credit cards through the turnstiles within 18 months during a trial period and fully implemented in three years.
Tap and pay technology on public transport is used in cities including London, Boston, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Toronto and Jakarta, which also allows payments with wristbands.
The State Government was widely criticised for choosing an “unproven” operator to run myki.
NTT Data, which had its contract extended by six months cost $30 million, will now again be in charge of rolling contactless payment despite it having limited experience in the field.
The Herald Sun obtained an internal government report that revealed the myki system should have had capabilities to take credit and debit at terminals from this year but this “has not been progressed”.
The tender process will cost the government $13 million and is expected to be completed by mid 2016, with the successful bidder’s contract to start at the beginning of 2017.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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