Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Integrated ticket systems

The Sunday Business Post and The Sunday Times carried stories last weekend about the current state of the integrated ticketing system for Dublin Bus and the Luas. Between €9.5 million and €13 million have been spent from an original budget of €30 million and so far no progress has been made.

Do you know where the problem is with the current government? It is all summed up in this sentence from The Sunday Business Posts story.

A former secretary general of the Department of Defence will chair a new committee being set up to oversee the implementation of integrated ticketing on Dublin Bus and Luas.

Titles, government departments, chairs, committees, and overseeing. All to integrate the ticket systems of two publicly owned companies that operate in the same city.

If Martin Cullen was any good as a government Minister he would call in the head of Dublin Bus and the head of the Luas and tell them they had until the start of December and the Christmas shopping rush to get the whole thing implemented or they will be fired. Not pensioned off, not moved to other departments. Just fired. Both of them. That will get the whole thing sorted double quick. No need for committees, no need for chairs or overseers, no need for consultants and reports. Just two companies working together to get the job done in an efficient and timely manner.

What has the €13 million been spent on? Can we reuse what has been bought already. How much has been spent on consultants and reports?

In April the comptroller and auditor-general expressed concern that money was going to consultants rather than being spent on delivery of the technology.

Cullens track record as a minister has not been good with millions wasted on integrating tickets, €52 million wasted (so far) on electronic voting machines, historical and important areas of the city scheduled for destruction, rising numbers of fatalities on the roads, over crowded public transport, chaos in the airport and taxis on strike. And that is all in just 4 years during which he was Minister for Environment and Local Government (2002-2004) and Minister for Transport (2004 to present).

If Bertie Ahern was any good as a Taoiseach he would call in Cullen and tell him he was fired. But then I suspect the whole lot of them have been in power for so long they have lost all touch with the real world and any sense of civic responsibility they had. Money means nothing to them anymore. It's all just monopoly money. €1 million here, €10 million there, €100 million where?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I keep thinking; If this government can't organise something as relatively straight-forward as integrated ticketing, how can we trust them to organise something as complex as public health care?