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It has cost Victorian taxpayers $1.5 billion and been plagued by problems, but there could be a big change on the way for the troubled myki.
Public Transport Victoria has released a shortlist of three bidders for the tender of the state's public transport ticketing system, which includes the defence giant that worked on London's Oyster travel card.
US company Cubic Transportation Systems, which also operates the Opal Card in Sydney and the Go Card in southeast Queensland, could be the saviour of Melbourne's ticketing system.
Cubic was recently awarded a contract to continue running London's ticketing system, where commuters are able to use their bank cards or mobile phones to pay for public transport journeys, as well as the Oyster card. The card is routinely praised for being easy to use.
The company also operates transport smartcards in a number of US cities.
However, Sydney's $1.2 billion Opal Card has not been immune from issues, with software problems overcharging some commuters.
One plus for the Opal is that it takes only 60 minutes for the card's balance to be updated after being topped up online. Users of myki are advisedto allow at least 24 hours for their cards to be updated.
Another shortlisted company is Irish-based consultancy firm Accenture, which has been part of the rollout of the Presto card in Toronto and was recently awarded a contract to replace the public transport ticketing system in Washington DC.
Existing myki provider NTT Data is the third bidder and has the chance to once again operate Melbourne's smartcard system.
In the decade since NTT Data was commissioned by Labor, myki has been plagued by cost blowouts, as well as problems with queues created by slow card readers and complaints about the lack of short term tickets.
Public Transport Victoria chief executive Mark Wild said the shortlisted bidders had the necessary experience to run the system and address "current and emerging challenges".
"While our main focus is the continuity of ticketing services, the chosen vendor must have the capability to identify and map pathways to deliver future technologies that support service improvements," Mr Wild said.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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