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ERG - new contract coming?

  1. 85 Posts.
    Refer to article in this morning's Brisbane Courier Mail.

    It's been a while but I seem to remember that ERG was part of a consortium tender with Westpac and the University of Queensland for the integrated ticketing scheme contract.

    $100m commuter ticket upgrade

    THE State Government will spend more than $100 million in the next decade to deliver an integrated ticketing system for southeast Queensland trains, buses and ferries. Advertisement

    Premier Peter Beattie said yesterday the new system would start within two years.
    Commuters would be able to buy a single ticket to travel on different modes of public transport from the Gold Coast, north to the Sunshine Coast and west to Helidon.

    The Government would initially use paper tickets but gradually phase in "smart cards" which it would also develop for wider uses.

    Commuters have long been promised integrated ticketing by state governments and council administrations.

    But the existence of 18 providers using more than 100 ticketing devices has proven too big an obstacle.

    Mr Beattie, on a trade mission in Toronto, confirmed the Government was considering two tenders for delivery of a new integrated ticketing system based on a series of zones covering southeast Queensland.

    He said he expected to announce a successful bidder within two months.

    "From mid-2004 all transport operators will charge the same fares and concessions using the same set of ticketing products," Mr Beattie said.

    "Implementing integrated ticketing in southeast Queensland is a very complex task but we are delivering where other governments have failed. It really is inexcusable that this didn't happen 20 years ago or 30 years ago."

    Transport lobby groups welcomed the news but said commuters would not turn to public transport unless the ticketing scheme was matched by integrated services between buses, trains and ferries.

    Mr Beattie said people had a right to be cynical about his announcement, given previous failures.

    But he said next week's state Budget would include the first allocation of funds.

    Mr Beattie said he expected to spend $10 million a year for 10 years on the ticketing transformation.

    However, he said there was potential for the Government to reduce the cost to the public by offering companies the opportunity to develop bill-paying options for the smart cards.

    Mr Beattie said the smart card system would be similar to that used in Hong Kong.

    "London and Singapore are rolling out smart card integrated ticketing now while Rome is in the process of adopting it," Mr Beattie said.

    Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley yesterday said integrated ticketing was only one step in developing an efficient transport network.

    "It's one part of the jigsaw. It's an important part but it's not a panacea," he said.

    Transport Minister Steve Bredhauer said the network would be the biggest step forward for public transportation in a generation.

    "We expect integrated ticketing to be a major driver in growth in public transport for the next ten years," Mr Bredhauer said.

    But Opposition transport spokesman Vaughan Johnson questioned the cost of the measure and called on the Government to ensure the new system included private bus operators.

    "A lot of work has been done on integrated ticketing for a number of years and we think $10 million sounds like a lot of money in this Budget," he said. "It's not just about the tickets though. It's also about improving services so there's buses waiting for the trains and ferries otherwise you won't get people using them."

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