On the Buses


A History and Travels in Electronic Collection Systems


I have often been tempted to write a personal record of my time in the fare collection industry and for years I was probably way too close to the shop floor to be able to do such a story justice. Since I have been away from the main stage, for a number of years, a lot of the themes and general truths have taken on a more definitive identity, they become easier to discuss.

I can only imagine that on all of the 6 major Automate Fare Collection Systems I was involved in it would have given me a huge advantage to have already read a book such as this. It can therefore be read as a text book on large I.T. projects discussing many of the issues which arise.

Many pages are also devoted to life experiences and interesting social events on these projects so the readers can share interesting anecdotal accounts which occurred in parallel.

I also wanted to convey all technical issues in a way that a layman would be able to understand and interpret them in a simple way.

Normally a tale such as this would begin with failures and progress to an ultimate success. This book is diametrically opposite in that the Melbourne Metcard system was a huge personal success, Hong Kong Octopus system was received by world-wide praise. The Melbourne NTS (MYKI) system however, last in this time sequence, was an absolute disaster.

The list of people I worked with is an attempt to include all these friends and colleagues into the whole – it is my story but without them there would not be a story.


Below is the Table of Contents:

Author’s Note 
1.   Entering the Information Technology Industry 
2.   The Melbourne Metcard – Dawn of a New Application 
3.   Getting Melbourne off the Mark 
4.   Hong Kong versus Safari 
5.   Hong Kong – Replacing Unisys
6.   Settling into James Martin + Co – SOW 
7.   Overview of the Information Architecture 
8.   Overview of the Systems Architecture 
9.   Overview of the Technical Architecture 
10. Hong Kong Octopus System – Development in Manila 
11. Hong Kong – Implementation 
12. Hiatus 
13. Year 2000 – The End of the Millennium 
14. Taipei 
15. Adieu to Headstrong 
16. ERG Development Laboratory Setup in Manila 
17. Taipei – High Speed Rail 
18. Intellectual Property Rights 
19. Dutch e-Ticketing Project – Thales France 
20. Dutch e-Ticketing System – Amersfoort, Holland 
21. Melbourne NTS (Myki) Project – Bid Positioning – April 2005 343
22. Rome Revisited – June 2005 
23. Fallout From the Bid 
24. Melbourne NTS Project (Myki) – Commencing in July 2005 
25. A Nostalgic Return Trip to AES Prodata in High Street 
26. Events Following my Departure 
27. Epilogue to NTS Melbourne 
28. June 2006 – UITP Korea 
29. Railway Tracks 
About the Author 
Personnel encountered 


Where to Purchase Books:


The Book Depository Barnes & Noble Waterstones (UK) Foyles (UK)
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