Expanded SmartRider trial to be extended
The latest phase of testing of Transperth’s new SmartRider ticketing system has identified additional areas where the system is not meeting technical specifications.
Public Transport Authority CEO Reece Waldock said today that these would have to be resolved before the implementation program could move on to the next phase.
As a result, the trial was being extended.
Mr Waldock said that though the emergence of additional technical issues was disappointing, it vindicated the staged testing strategy that Transperth had chosen to adopt.
The latest issues were identified following last month’s increase in the Control Group – a cross-section of commuters who are taking part in a live trial of the system – from 2000 to 7000.
“This is exactly what the gradual addition of users to the Control Group is designed to do – the increase of traffic is allowing Transperth to identify load-related problems ahead of full implementation,” Mr Waldock said.
“When we announced the postponement of the SmartRider introduction last December, we said the rescheduled program would be subject to each stage going smoothly.
“There are a number of technical problems which we expect the contractor to resolve as a matter of priority – we simply will not move on to the next stage of testing until these issues are resolved.
“It is frustrating for us, for our Control Group users and for our wider customer base, but our first priority must be to get it right.”
He said Transperth would proceed with the staged roll-out of SmartRider and a new target implementation date would be announced when it was satisfied that these bugs had been ironed out.
“The next phases will involve the introduction of students and seniors, after which the system will be made available to the wider public,” Mr Waldock said.
“Though this latest development is disappointing, we must remember that this will be Australia's first fully integrated, state-of-the-art smartcard public transport ticketing system – we are national trailblazers and technical problems are to be expected.
“The contribution and patience of our Control Group participants – whose travel and card costs we are reimbursing – has been outstanding, and we owe them a big vote of thanks.”