April introduction of Transperth SmartRider ticketing system
The full introduction of Transperth's new SmartRider ticketing system is being postponed by three months.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said this will allow issues identified during the current trial by 2,000 users to be fixed.
"This will be Australia's first, fully integrated, state-of-the-art smartcard public transport ticketing system - it is important we get it right, and speed of introduction is less important than reliability," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The rescheduled roll-out program will be subject to each stage going smoothly."
New SmartRider hardware has been installed since October 2005 across the public transport system, including:
- smartcard processors on all buses, ferries and at train stations;
- fare gates at 11 high-patronage train stations; and
- wireless communication systems.
Since then, a control group of about 2,000 Perth commuters, including students, seniors, standard and concession fareholders and Public Transport Authority employees, had been trialling SmartRider cards on all buses, trains and ferries, to identify any problems ahead of the system's full implementation.
Ms MacTiernan said feedback provided by the control group had identified issues where the SmartRider was not yet meeting the full technical specifications with 100 per cent reliability.
Transperth had been working closely with contractor Delairco Bartrol/Wayfarer Transit Systems on these issues throughout the trial period to ensure the final system fully met Transperth's requirements.
Substantial progress had already been made and, provided a recent round of software and hardware changes were successful, the progressive roll-out of SmartRider to Transperth users would continue, on a delayed schedule.
The full introduction was now planned in April 2006, rather than January.
If testing proceeded successfully:
- the trial would be expanded by the introduction of another 5,000 users in January;
- other large groups, such as students and seniors, would be invited to use SmartRider if the trial concluded satisfactorily during February and March; and
- all remaining users would be able to join from late April.
The Minister said that most students already had SmartRider cards and seniors would receive their cards through the mail, currently scheduled for early March.
Ms MacTiernan said community information sessions held by Transperth over the last few months had generated considerable interest in the revolutionary smartcard-based ticketing system.
"Transperth will continue to inform its customers about SmartRider leading up to the system's full introduction next year," she said.
The existing MultiRider system would stay in place until at least mid-June 2006, while cash tickets would remain available after SmartRider was introduced.
The changes were part of the Gallop Government's effort to improve the quality of services to all Western Australians.