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Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Jon Stanhope, today announced Downer EDI Engineering Power Pty Ltd would install ACTION’s new $8 million smartcard ticketing system.

Mr Stanhope said the contract was awarded after an exhaustive tender and evaluation process which confirmed Downer EDI represented the best value system for Canberra’ s bus service.

The new ticketing system, due to commence in the second half of 2010, is modelled on Perth’s successful SmartRider system, which was also implemented by Downer EDI.

“Canberrans can look forward to a new ticketing system that is fast, easy and flexible,” Mr Stanhope said. “It will offer bus users a reusable and rechargeable card for travel on all ACTION buses.

“Bus users will be able to recharge their smartcard over the internet, phone or at other card facilities across the ACT. A one-use ticket will also be available for casual users and tourists.

“Bus users will be required to tag-on and tag-off buses, which will significantly improve ACTION’s capacity to monitor passenger trends and make adjustments to meet changes in demand.

“The new smart card system is an important part of the ACT Government’s investment in developing a more efficient and user-friendly bus network.

“I look forward to working with Downer Engineering as we roll-out the smartcard ticketing system across the ACTION network,” Mr Stanhope said.

The smartcard uses a microchip that is picked up by a reader without taking it out of a wallet or purse.

The new ticketing system will retain the current flat fares structure.