Last week, US company Conduent was awarded a $1.7 billion contract to take over the Myki card system, which is used in Victoria’s transport system.
Conduent beat two other bidders: NTT Data, which currently operates Majki, and Kubik, which installed the Opal system in Sydney.
And while both bidders have experience working with cards in transportation, the American company has yet to introduce technology that allows passengers to use their phones instead of tickets in major cities, the opposition points out.
Otherwise, as part of the deal, Konduent will upgrade Majka to enable open payments, an option for passengers to use their mobile phone or credit card to pay for the trip directly.
Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, said that under the agreement, the system would be gradually upgraded to allow for open payments.
Currently only Android phone users can use their phones to pay for transport, while in Sydney all phones work to pay for travel.
By the way, Majki has had problems since it was founded more than a decade ago. The system was custom built for Victoria, with Conduent as part of the original consortium.
With the new contract, the government wanted a product that was already proven.
Minister Carroll said that the signed contract offers the best value for taxpayers’ money.
– We are taking the system that was tested in Paris, in Dubai, in Montreal, in New Jersey and bringing it to Melbourne – he pointed out at the press conference last week.
However, the opposition and industry insiders questioned the accuracy of the minister’s statement.
Namely, in Paris, passengers still have to have a physical ticket, similar to Majki. Android users can use their devices, but users of other phones cannot yet.
In Dubai, Konduent only operates a bus service that requires a physical ticket, and negotiations for an open payments contract are still ongoing.
Physical tickets are still required in Montreal.
Conduent provides open payments on Adelaide trams and elsewhere in France, Italy and Mexico.
In Philadelphia, the company was involved in cost-cutting and local transportation issues, which led the city to consider divesting the company.
– It worries me that a two-minute Google search can show that Conduent has problems in Paris, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Dubai – pointed out the shadow minister of public transport, Richard Reardan.
However, the government said it undertook a rigorous and competitive procurement process for the contract, including a significant number of technical requirements. In addition, the government also said it visited the sites as part of the tender process.
Conduenta is satisfied with the job
A spokesperson for Conduent said they were honored to be chosen to provide the next generation of public transport ticketing systems in Victoria.
– The decision reflects Conduent’s proven capabilities to deliver a modern and efficient ticketing system, which will improve access to public transport and confirms Conduent’s plans for geographic expansion, including Australia – the spokesperson said.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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