SMART TICKETING STILL WAY OFF
It feels like we have we have been promised integrated ticketing on the country’s public transport services for decades. And the latest word is that it will still be a while longer before we can avail of a universal transport card that would allow users to move from trains to buses to the DART and on to the Luas. The Sunday Times carried a report based on the minutes of a recent meeting of the “Integrated Ticketing Project Management Board” at which the Minister, Noel Dempsey, said he was disappointed at the delay in coming up with a suitable card.
David O’Callaghan, the chairman of the board, commented that the Minister’s “current expectation had been inflated by misplaced optimism historically”. The board, which was established to speed up the much delayed system, has representatives of all the organisations involved in bus, rail, DART and Luas services. It has blamed IBM, the company that is developing the software, for the delay – we are now unlikely to have it before next year.
IBM counters that phase one of it back-office system, which apportions money to each transport company, had been tested last year and that phase two is on schedule. IBM claims it has provided a similar smart card system for Singapore on time and on schedule.