Contracting for Ticketing Services

Verma, Shashi
Rudin Center Working Paper Series, RCWP 10-011

Modern methods of fare collection have turned ticketing contracts into complicated information technology projects without necessary bringing all the disciplines of such systems. The high cost of updating or maintaining front line systems makes it very challenging to keep up with the rapid obsolescence cycles that the IT industry considers normal. It is challenging enough to build a system that offers some prospect of working. Wrapping these systems in long term, inflexible contracts with lenders and contractors opposed to making changes presents further challenges. London's experience with such a contract over the last decade offers some lessons for any transit system about to use a public private partnership (PPP) to build a ticketing system.