The Victorian State Government has moved to sure up its troubled myki smart ticketing system with the appointment of a new chief executive for the state’s Transport Ticketing Authority (TTA).
Bernie Carolan, formerly head of the public transport marketing body Metlink, has replaced former chief executive Gary Thwaites effective today.
Carolan will be responsible for completing the roll out of myki across all modes, according to the Victorian Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula.
The myki system, similar to London’s Oyster card, uses a plastic card which stores credit used to pay for travel on public transport.
In a statement on Carolan’s appointment, Pakula said Carolan would be supported with “extra expertise” for the TTA and steps would be taken to strengthen its board.
Kamco, which is delivering the system, will also assist the TTA in the transition from project delivery to full operations. The contractor is to deploy an overseas team of experts to identify and fix a range of issues which have stopped Kamco from meeting its contractual requirements to deliver myki.
“As the current Metlink chief executive, Mr Carolan has overall responsibility for providing public transport services with coordinated information about ticketing, fares and services,” Pakula said.
“A large part of the TTA’s function will be transferred to Metlink when myki is fully operational and Mr Carolan’s appointment will support that transition.”
“The Victorian Government and the ticketing authority are determined to work with Kamco to get the myki roll-out completed so commuters can enjoy the full benefits of myki,” he added.
Pakula has also met president and chief executive of Kamco’s parent company, Keane, in an effort to address the failings of myki.
“The Government is obviously frustrated that the contractor has not met its contractual requirements to deliver myki,” Pakula said. “The Victorian Government and the ticketing authority are determined to work with Kamco to get the myki roll-out completed so commuters can enjoy the full benefits of myki.”
The Victorian Opposition has also been critical of the myki project. In January it accused the state’s government of spending $392,000 to change instructions on using the myki devices from “scan on” and “scan off” to “touch on” and “touch off.”
The myki system began operating in Melbourne in December last year, however only a fraction of commuters were able to use the incomplete smartcard, hurriedly launched by the government to avoid further embarrassment.