Sad news for Budapest: no e-ticket system in the near future
CEO of BKK (Centre for Budapest Transport) to be fired, after they did not break the contract with the company that failed to launch the e-ticket system in Budapest. The project was supposed to be launched in 2017, but hardly anything happened. István Tarlós, major of Budapest, made the ultimate decision.
Index summarised what happened exactly with this e-ticketing system project in the last 4 years, and how it has failed miserably.
A company called Scheidt & Bachmann won the tender back in 2014 to develop, and basically introduce the e-ticket system to Budapest’ transportation. Their price quote was the lowest among all: EUR 83,500,000.
After 4 years of continuous problems and no progress, BKK finally cancelled the contract with this company.
Approximately 19.5 million Euros were already paid for the project that hardly ever started.
According to the original plans in 2014, Scheidt & Bachmann was responsible for building the whole e-ticket system, providing the necessary IT background, building 10,450 automats, and 800 check-in gates. The company was basically responsible for building the system from scratch and also constructing the necessary infrastructure for its use.
They originally promised to finish everything between 2015 and 2017, plus they agreed to provide support for the first five years of the system’s existence.
One year later, in 2015, the company promised to make the e-ticket system work for 2017. They reported that there was no delay at all. In December, they even handed out test cards for the employees of BKK. These cards were called RIGO, and hundreds of these were handed out.
Problems started to arise in 2016. The system needed to be changed, the project became more expensive. No more cards were ordered. By July, it was obvious that there was a huge delay in the project. It also turned out that the original tender was only about the equipment, and there was nothing about software integration or constructional work in the contract. The management made a huge mistake.
At the beginning of 2017, the company claimed to be finished by early 2018, but there was no date specified.
Expenses increased drastically during the summer of 2017 (up to EUR 114,000,000).
Although the first electronic gates were installed in October (It’s something, right?), they could only be used for getting out of the subway. The e-tickets were tested on buses, but there was something wrong with validating the tickets.
In 2018, it became obvious that it was not going to be finished by the end of the year. One-year delay was mentioned. By this time, only three machines were installed (instead of 840!) on three buses, where people could validate their e-tickets. In the summer of 2018, András Lakatos became the new CEO at Scheidt & Bachmann. (This was also the time of the scandal about the ethical hacker guy who wanted to help BKK and got arrested).
And now, after 4 years of nothing, BKK finally cancelled the contract with Scheidt & Bachmann, who were clearly incapable of doing the job they applied for.
When will be an e-ticket system in Budapest? No one knows.
Featured image: Alpár Kató – Daily News Hungary