Qld’s Go Card retender is running late

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Sunshine state commuters will wait for new technology.

Queensland commuters will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the latest electronic ticketing technology thanks to the state running late on its refresh of the Go Card system deal.

Cubic Transportation Systems – which also delivers London’s Oyster card system and NSW’s Opal card, among others – currently holds the contract to operate Go Card.

The $134 million contract signed in 2003 expired last year, but has been extended to 2019 to give Queensland’s public transport operator Translink enough time to put the contract back out to tender.

Translink has not revealed the value of the extension.

However, it did make it clear in tender documents released in 2014 and 2015 that it wants to use the refresh as an opportunity to get new public transport innovations, such as contactless payments with a smartphone or bank card, into south east Queensland.

At the time it also said it wanted to have a new agreement with the winner of the procurement – whether it is a new supplier or incumbent Cubic – inked by March 2017.

But a Translink spokesman has confirmed the agency has only so far managed to narrow the field to its favourite bids.

“The current procurement process has now shortlisted a number of proponents and will look to appoint a supplier who will design, build, test and implement a new system,” he said.

If Translink decides to go with someone new, it could be rushing to transition to a new arrangement by the time the current contract expires.

Meanwhile, Transport for NSW is preparing to begin real-life trials of contactless payments like Apple Pay on its network this year.

The technology is already popular in London, where 20 percent of commuters had made the switch to bank card payments as of early 2016.

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