Last month the total budget for Myki (over ten years) quietly got increased, from $1.35 billion to $1.5 billion. It was revealed in the Budget Papers, and thanks to the torrent of other budget coverage, barely got noticed:
MELBOURNE public transport commuters received little relief in this year’s budget, which revealed the cost of the troubled myki ticketing system has blown out by another $150 million.
— The Age, 2/5/2012, Little relief for Metro commuters
It seems to be a combination of the extension of Metcard (a result of the stalled metropolitan rollout, which was originally meant to be finished by Easter 2011, but is now expected to take until the end of 2012) and extra readers and vending machines.
myki (new ticketing solution – Technology and installation)
The transition to the myki ticketing system is to be completed following an extensive review undertaken by independent experts in 2011, leading to re-scoping of the project and a number of system improvements.
— Budget Paper 3, chapter 1
An increase from $1.35 to $1.5 may not sound like much until you realise that’s a difference of $150,000,000, or to put it in words so it sounds even more impressive: One hundred and fifty million dollars.
And it flies in the face of earlier implied savings found through the 2011 review, the most visible result of which is the removal of short term ticket options (not what I’d call “system improvements”), in particular from trams.
Sigh. Oh well, at least $1.5 billion is a nice round number.