News: ‘Oyster card’ style ticket service for GM’s transport network in crisis

Manchester Evening News 5th August 2015  “Greater Manchester’s planned ‘Oyster card’ style smart ticketing service has hit a major crisis, the MEN can reveal – after transport chiefs ditched their contractor. Transport for Greater Manchester has torn up its agreement with private firm Atos after ‘considerable’ delays to the service’s roll-out. Bosses said it had become apparent the firm ‘cannot deliver’ what they had been signed up to do.

The revelation is a major embarrassment both for council chiefs and the government, which had put smart ticketing a the heart of its ‘northern powerhouse’ plans. In a joint statement not released to the press but circulated to councillors, TfGM and Atos said: ‘TfGM contracted Atos in 2012 to design, build and operate a Smart Ticketing System for Greater Manchester to be rolled out initially on Metrolink and with options to roll the system out subsequently to bus and rail. Although the system is currently operational for use by our 500,000 concessionary card holders, after a considerable period of delay it has become clear that Atos cannot deliver the smart ticketing system as contracted.’

Atos is now handing TfGM ‘substantial compensation’ for the fiasco, although it remains unclear whether taxpayers will still be out of pocket after that or not.”

Read more here.