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    ERG wins $34m ticket to ride in Washington
    By Colin Kruger
    January 21 2003

    ERG shareholders had some good news yesterday when the company announced it had been chosen to install an integrated ticketing system in Washington, DC, with the initial five-year contract worth $US20 million ($34 million).

    ERG shares jumped 3c to close at 15.5c after the announcement of the project, which will allow passengers to use a single smartcard to pay fares across 17 transit systems covering Washington DC, Maryland and North Virginia.

    The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority selected ERG and bidding partner Northrop Grumman IT for the project, with the approval of the Maryland Transit Administration expected to follow soon, according to ERG.

    The initial deal is to supply, install and operate the ticketing system, with work expected to start this quarter. Options to extend the contract could bring ERG some $US40 million overall, company spokesman Shaun Duffy said.

    The news follows ERG's announcement last week that it was no longer in the running for a $200 million national ticketing project in The Netherlands, when the Dutch body overseeing the bids dropped ERG's consortium from the tender.



    The company had deliberately filed a non-complying tender because the project's requirements were commercially unrealistic, Mr Duffy said.

    ERG still claims to be "very close" to reaching agreement with the NSW Department of Transport over the controversial integrated ticketing project in Sydney.

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