Transport Canberra starts search for MyWay replacement
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Transport Canberra starts search for MyWay replacement

Your MyWay card may soon be redundant as the ACT moves to allow passengers to pay by credit card or smartphone.

Transport Canberra have begun looking for a replacement ticketing system for ACTION buses to link in with light rail when it starts running in late 2018.

Passengers face a new year public transport ticket price hike in Canberra.

Passengers face a new year public transport ticket price hike in Canberra.

A call for expressions of interest on Friday showed the territory government wants to move from stored value cards to an account-based ticketing system.

The move was foreshadowed by transport minister Meegan Fitzharris in July, and was informed by her $67,000 US and Canada study tour.

The MyWay contract expires next year and the government set aside $7.9 million in the June budget to develop a new ticketing system that would work across the light rail and bus systems.

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Documents showed the territory government is after a system that will allow both open and closed loop payments, payments via debit and credit cards, and via smartphones.

They are hoping for a product that can lead to a single interface as the technology "matures", where passengers can create and manage an account, buy a ticket, plan their trip and provide notifications and alerts.

The system will have to allow real time and continuous monitoring and be flexible to allow fares to be changed when needed.

It will need to be easy to use for customers and minimise boarding and alighting times by providing a speedy transaction.

To stop fare evasion, it would need to ensure a passenger had a validated card, device or token when they hopped on the bus or light rail carriage.

It must have tight security and anti-fraud processes, such as a fraud engine to scans all transactions and discover anomalies.

The ticketing system would have a tenure of 10 years, although some parts may have a shorter term.

It would also need to be extendable, with the potential to be used for park and ride facilities, taxis, bike shares and library services.

However it would also need to be cost-effective, and "evolutionary rather than revolutionary".

There were more than 490,000 active MyWay cards in Canberra in the past year.

More than 18.3 million journeys were taken on ACTION buses in the year to July.

Requests for proposals will be circulated in December, with final offers made next April and the contract awarded in May 2018.

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.