Published on April 27, 2014
Managing Systems Development Term Paper on LEAP Integrated Ticketing System: Course: iBusiness, Innovation Through ICT. Module: Managing Systems Development (MIS 40670) By Darragh Leahy: Student Number: 07313586 David Malone: Student Number: 09188723 Ian Fleming: Student Number: 12250042 Word Count: 5,278 We (Darragh Leahy, David Malone and Ian Fleming) declare that the following document is entirely our own work. 1
Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Requirements Initial Problem Statement and Feature List Desired User Goals III. Research methods, data, evaluation. Research Methods Issues Discovered IV. Solution: Proposed adapted System Short-Term (zero-two years) Medium-Term (two-five years) Long-Term (five+ years) Theoretical Future; End Game Goals: V. Proposal to develop the system: VI. Summary & Conclusions VII. References 2
I. Introduction The high-tech service which we examined was the LEAP Integrated Ticketing system which public transportation in Dublin relies upon. The system has a complex and intertwined relationship with its wider environment. LEAP began as a business requirement that came from a government mandate, as such no general requirements analysis was performed. There was a political imperative to bring in the system. In 2002, the Minister for Transport, Mary O’ Rourke, decided she wanted to implement a smart ticketing system. The Department of Public Enterprise awarded a procurement contract to the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to implement a smart-card transport system in the Greater Dublin Area. Several technology experts from the Department of Transport were involved in drafting the mandate for a single smart-card scheme that would work on multiple forms of transport. All public and transport operators were included in the process. When the requirements were established the RPA issued contracts to build and operate the system on European tenders websites. Unfortunately, there were no companies out there that could deliver the requirements for the tender, so a review report was commissioned and the Government decided to split the tender into two portions: one tender to build the system and the other tender to operate the system. IBM won the contract to build the system and Hewlett-Packard won the contract to operate the system and build the website for the system. Leap was first launched in 2011 and there have been several versions of LEAP as management at the NTA have attempted to deliver the majority of original requirements on a phased basis. As we couldn’t find figures publicly available, we assume that the original customer size and market for LEAP was for all public transport users on the Island of Ireland (given the original requirements for the system were for interoperability with Northern Ireland’s transport system) however the goal of interoperability was never achieved. This target customer size decreased over the course of the LEAP project, eventually targeting only users of public transport in the GDA. The GDA encompasses the Dublin (represented by four local 3
authorities: Dublin city, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin) and Mid-East regions (Kildare, Meath and Wicklow). The most recent figure we could find in a 2011 report on the National Transport Agency’s website was that 19% of the population of the GDA area used public transport. The population of the GDA in 2006 was 1.6 million inhabitants, so 19% of this would equate to 304,000 users of public transport. In 2002, the population of the GDA was slightly less at 1.535 million inhabitants, so assuming rates of public transport use in the GDA were slightly less four years previously (let’s say 18%); we believe the target market size for LEAP services could be estimated at 276,300 people. The system is currently used by users of buses in the GDA, including Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann. LEAP is used by train users, DART and Iarnrod Eireann’s other services. It’s also used by LUAS users and operates on all Veolia Transdev’s services. II. Requirements Initial Problem Statement and Feature List Following the development of the governmental mandate, several technology experts from the Department of Transport were involved in drafting the design for a single smart-card scheme that would work on multiple forms of transport. All public and transport operators were included in the process. Pre-LEAP: Users of public transport in the Republic of Ireland were: · Unfairly forced to pay double/triple their fare prices for transport if they have to change transport operators during their journey. · Unfairly forced to pay for transport with no capping system in place for maximum 4
amounts spent per day. · Subjected to inefficient waiting periods while scrambling for correct change for fare payment. · Delayed due to the time taken for other users to pay bus drivers. · Unable to pay for transport in Northern Ireland without converting Euro into Pounds Sterling (and vice versa) which has associated fees. · Republic of Ireland needed an integrated public and private transport system. When the procurement contract was given to the RPA instead of Dublin Bus, this created a certain amount of animosity with Dublin Bus because they had been pushing for a scheme like this for years and the RPA had no expertise in an area like this. The RPA acknowledged their lack of experience so they hired an independent consultancy firm called Sequoia Smart Solutions to come up with the original specifications/ requirements for the system in a document (Mr. T Gaston 2013, pers.comm., 1 November). Sequoia won the initial tender and a second tender also. Original features of the LEAP system included: ● An e-purse with which users could make electronic payments for transport as well as park-and-ride services. ● Multi-operating capping (e.g. you only spend a certain amount per week or per month on transport before it’s capped). ● Rebate system if taking multiple journeys with different transport operators. ● Inter-operability with transport services in Northern Ireland. ● Ability to hold a variety of different ticket options for bus, rail and LUAS (e.g. monthly tickets, rambler tickets etc. all on the one LEAP card). ● Would integrate with the Free Travel Scheme. 5
Current LEAP System: ● Has introduced the e-purse system. ● Still being charged double/triple fares for changing operators (although rebate system to be introduced in March 2014 will change this). ● Still no capping system for maximum fares per day (will also be rolled-out in February 2014). ● No current system in place to accommodate tourists in the City. The price of buying a LEAP card for €5 is quite expensive considering the tourist may only use the card for a short period of time. ● Still no inter-operability with transport systems in Northern Ireland. ● Few private transport operators signed up to LEAP system – should include taxis and a wide variety of private bus operators. ● Users of public transport outside the GDA have no access to the LEAP system and its associated benefits. ● Users can’t top-up LEAP cards on buses which have no live system capabilities. ● Users still have to stop and converse with bus drivers regarding fares due to stage-fare system creating delays and also confusion. ● Significant delays of 48 hours after topping-up online before LEAP card is credited. ● Often unaware that you can top-up online. ● Need to visit a LEAP retailer outlet if choosing to top-up online. ● Completely unable to avail of bus transport if they find themselves with no LEAP credit and have no cash on them. Not all of these features have been delivered, but the main reasons (according to our survey) that the LEAP system is beneficial is for convenience reasons (efficiency – saves time, ease of use, don’t need to carry change or cash) and cost-saving reasons i.e. the system saves you money, it also stops overspending on transport across multiple providers. An ongoing failing of the system is the time taken to deliver some of the promised features (with inter-operability with Northern Ireland never being delivered). This can be seen as being ‘the nature of the beast’ considering a phased approach to delivery and 6
implementation of certain features was adopted. The e-purse feature of the project was first released in 2011, with additional features still being released. There have been several versions of the project with additional features being rolled out on a phased basis. After the e-purse they delivered a version that allowed LEAP users to hold and top-up different flavours of tickets on their LEAP card, allowing for the Rambler style tickets many users are familiar with. In March 2014, they are projected to roll-out the rebate feature (allowing hop-on/hop-off cost accounted usage) for LEAP as well as capping of fares at a maximum limit. Desired User Goals The desired user goals are: 1. Transport users can use multiple forms of public transport on a single journey without having to pay the full fare traditionally associated with changing to a new transport provider mid-journey. 2. Pay for transport without having to carry cash/exact change. 3. Pay a maximum amount for transport in a single day. 4. Save money and time by using a convenient smart ticketing card. 5. Make the user’s life simpler through having various monthly ticketing offers on one card. III. Research methods, data, evaluation. Research Methods We integrated IDEO methods into all out research, using TRY, LOOK, LISTEN & LEARN IDEO techniques. 7
Actual research took several forms: ● Field Research: Personal use of LEAP from card acquisition to travel. ● Field Research: Observation of LEAP use with general public. ● Field Research: Interviews with the general public observed using the system. ● Phone Interviews with experts: Tim Gaston (Director of Integrated Ticketing Scheme, National Transport Agency) and Brendan Flynn (Technology Development Manager, Dublin Bus). ● Quantitative Online Survey. Our field research attempted to discern the ease of obtaining both a Leap card and Leap credit. We wanted to test this multiple times to ensure we had covered a wide enough survey base so as to provide a definitive answer. After visiting several shops around Dublin, it quickly became apparent that the Leap distribution network is good and it proved very easy to obtain both the card and credit. We tested the actual operation of the system, to verify what ‘mistakes’ it took to force an error. In general we found that the system worked well, not allowing us to tag-on twice in a row and cause a duplicate charge. However, we did note that if we waited a few minutes, it did allow us to tag-off at the same stop and charged us for the trip, even though we had not changed stop. It should be noted that this was attempted on the Luas systems; when attempted on the Dart, the Dart recognised the user had not travelled any distance and refunded the full amount. During this time, we took the opportunity to conduct short interviews with commuters regarding their use and perceptions of the Leap system as well as shadowing their use of the Leap card machines. This turned up interesting issues regarding the scan speed in a busy queue. We finally investigated the top-up systems available, noting that both the Luas and Dart provided transport side top-up facilities. Dublin Bus was a notable exception, as none of their buses run a ‘live’ system. Rather, all transactions are recorded off-line and updated at the end of the day. Further, we found the online top-up system was subject to a prolonged delay and required a visit to a local top-up point anyway to redeem the top-up. This is a redundant process. 8
Issues Discovered Several issues became apparent when studying the LEAP system. The actual use of LEAP seems to be relatively poor (not necessarily the number of Leap cards in circulation, but based on our data and what we observed in use). In relation to costs, the public belief (whether correctly or incorrectly) is that Leap does not save the customer money as well as some frustration regarding the functionality of the tag-on/tag-off speed, especially during busy periods. These problems have negatively affected public opinion of the system. From this we can draw that marketing and brand image is an unaddressed issue for LEAP. We believe this failing may be partly due to the government mandate rather than business case that initiated the project. The problem with marketing is that it is expensive but to alleviate this expense, social media exposure and usage could be enhanced. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google plus are used widely by the public and are a valuable channel to spread the word about LEAP. Our quantitative survey produced some interesting results. 97 respondents filled in our online survey, with 33 of these stating they do not use LEAP. The four main reasons for non-uptake were, in order of importance: don’t use public transport or sparingly use it, lack of awareness of the system, cost reasons (no perceived benefit) and setup issues. Of those that did use LEAP, the main advantages in order of importance were: it’s convenient, cashless, cheaper and user-friendly. Many disadvantages were noted but the main ones were, lack of flexibility, tag-on/off issues, lack of top-up options, website issues and poor balance information on readers. 83% of respondents were under 50 years of age. 55% of respondents were female and 45% male, giving a good base of data. Only 13% of respondents stated they were happy with LEAP website and that it’s user-friendly. This feature is something that could be addressed with minimal time and expense. Only 13% of respondents stated they use the website to buy credit, this should be a focal point of activity and this is letting the current system down. One critical question we asked was: did users think LEAP was working? 51% of the 67 respondents stated YES, with NO at nearly 10% with the remainder stating Maybe. This was a surprising finding given the problems that users mentioned in other questions asked, and 9
posed the question of whether these answers were truthful! We have to take them at face value, but there’s no doubt the perception of users isn't what it should be, with only a little over half thinking the system is working at present. Further, from our discussions with Tim Gaston (Director of Integrated Ticketing, NTA) and Brendan Flynn (Technology Development Manager, Dublin Bus), it became apparent that stakeholder support from the various transport agencies was an issue until the NTA was finally established with the power to regulate the agencies and ensure co-operation. Based on our findings, even following the implementation of Leap, users of public transport in the GDA are still affected by: ● No capping system for maximum fares per day. ● Being charged double/triple fares for changing operators. ● Few private transport operators signed up to LEAP system i.e. taxis. ● No nationwide deployment of Leap. ● Users can’t top up their LEAP cards on buses which have no live system capabilities. ● Issues with Dublin bus fare system. ● Delays of 48 hours after topping up online. ● Unable to avail of bus transport if they have no LEAP credit and have no coins on them. Furthermore, there are a wide variety of different pricing structures in place with the LEAP system across bus, rail and LUAS. We found the pricing structure for Dublin Bus, to be complex and at times confusing for users. There is a summary of the different pricing structures for the various LEAP transport operators in appendix four. It’s also worth noting that the initial ballpark budget was €30 million in Capex for the LEAP project. This figure has since increased to €55 million, of which nearly all is spent. Brendan Flynn explained to us that a cost-benefit analysis was conducted and the cost of €30 million appeared to justify the LEAP system. Tim Galston from the National Transport Agency mentioned getting the IBM part of this project completed on budget was a notable, if one of the only budgeting successes and that this was almost unique in the public sector. €12-13 10
million was the original estimate for the IBM work, and the final price after about 80 variations of the software amounted to €13.5m. While this does not constitute an issue with the system operating as such, it certainly indicates the complexity as well as the failings in management aspects of the project. Complexity is fine, as long as there is a very simple high-level design, complexity should be a coding problem if a problem at all, not a management issue. Both this complexity and the financial management of the project (either in accurate forecasting, or improved delivery costs) will need to be addressed if future objectives are to be met. This is made all the more pertinent as all costs, and cost overruns are funded by the tax paying public through the government. IV. Solution: Proposed adapted System In developing a solution, we are acutely aware of a few stumbling blocks to any redevelopment of the system. Primarily, the NTA is effectively broke. They simply cannot afford the Capex to redesign some of the features and technology in the system. Furthermore, as previously discussed in the ‘Issues’ section, the technical aspects of the system and its development can be accurately described as, what Foote and Yoder (2000) termed, a ‘Big-Ball-of-Mud’. This is most likely due to the compromises made in supporting legacy hardware and the work required to integrate such different systems. Compromises for legacy system operation also introduce an additional layer of technical complexity to ensure backwards compatibility with the existing system. This further adds to a technical redevelopment cost. As the project was initiated before the formation of the NTA, there’s something of a governance, or at least product owner, “mud-ball” in play as well. This can make initiating any change to the system a significant challenge in itself. We would recommend a review and centralisation of responsibility and a democratisation of domain knowledge regarding the operation of the LEAP system at a technical and management level. In terms of a technical re-design, although as mentioned we are quite aware that due to 11
budgetary and technological constraints any proposals are unlikely to be considered, we have devised the following redesign to the LEAP system, broken into short, medium and long term phases. Following is the breakdown of each phase and overview diagrams of how these may look: Short-Term (Zero-Two years). Initial improvements should take the form of implementing the initial project requirements in the GDA as dictated by the mandate, particularly the fare-capping requirement. Further steps should be taken to extend the LEAP system to more forms of public transport such as the taxi services. This could potentially be done in co-operation with an existing transport system like Hailo. https://hailocab.com/ireland Medium-Term (Two-Five years). In the medium-term only two direct solutions are to be proposed, this is to allow the LEAP card to be linked to a credit/debit card via the website to allow automation of the top-up and payment system, opening up LEAP to businesses as well as looking to use forms of public transport (especially taxis where companies insist on credit lines). This would allow for a single, universal transport card. Additionally, to allow LEAP terminals to take payment from NFC, contactless bank cards. The work involved in these solutions, however, is both significant in terms of scope and expense and requires full support from the highest levels of management within the NTA to succeed. Long-Term (Five+ years). Two revisions are proposed: The deployment of the LEAP system nationwide (to include Northern Ireland) and by extension to England through the Oyster system integration required in Northern Ireland. The inclusion of mobile NFC payment communication standards (which have yet to be 12
officially IEEE or ISO standardised, budgeting here that a five year timeline will suffice for maturity of such systems and standards) to allow payments with any device and turning the LEAP system from a physical card into a truly digital card. This would, in turn, make LEAP a very easy system to use for tourists as well as systems like Google Wallet, Amazon Pay or other such payment systems could be easily interfaced with, to automatically convert from their national currency to the Euro and deduct the correct fare as well as presenting information regarding the fare in the detected language of the wallet, or currency of origin. Theoretical Future; End Game Goals: China, specifically Hong Kong, has an extremely well-developed and mature transport card system called the Octopus Card http://www.octopus.com.hk/home/en/index.html which offers not only integrated transport payment, but also NFC payment abilities for small purchases in shops. Ultimately, the system should view itself as an evolving service, with a view to becoming, almost, a national petty-cash system. We also feel that the website for LEAP should be redesigned and a mobile App created to encourage wider use of LEAP among businesses and to allow consumers to check their balances easily. 13
Figure 1 (below): Short-Term: Conceptual Map for Proposed LEAP Improvements: Figure 2 (below): Medium-Term: Conceptual Map for Proposed LEAP Improvements: 14
Figure 3 (below): Long-Term: Conceptual Map for Proposed LEAP Improvements: Figure 4 (below): Proposed redesign of www.leapcard.ie website: 15
Figure 5 (below): Proposed design for LEAP mobile app: V. Proposal to develop the system: To call LEAP an integrated ticketing system is a contradiction in terms. Our survey revealed many issues customers have and it would be foolish not to address these issues in the short-term before jumping full steam ahead with a system redevelopment. Technology and integration problems accounted for 69% of the issues that customers complained about. Our proposed new system aims to address these obviously high-profile issues only after certain system wide reviews have taken place. The ‘big-ball-of-mud’ issues outline the need for proper planning and dialogue between all stakeholders. The Irish market for public transport users is unique in that it is very small when compared to other countries like China (Octopus) and England (Oyster) where successful versions of LEAP have been introduced. With a small population, cost is important as it becomes hard to 16
firstly breakeven and secondly make profit from any transport system. Economies of scale don’t work here! Major cultural issues also abound as the Irish people are notoriously slow to embrace new technologies. Our plan is to introduce new features and adaptations over time, what we like to call our ‘three-tier’ approach. Short-term (being defined as between zero to two years in length) will see the system gradually upgraded to enhance features and become fully integrated. The current single fare system is a priority obstacle to uptake as it erodes perceived benefits of the system. A high majority of respondents to our survey stated that they use two or more modes of transport in Dublin; this would signal to us that some commuters are using two modes of transport on a daily basis. Due to the failure in the current system, the supposed benefits are lost. For a system that promotes flexibility and cash-saving it is shocking to think that over 30% of respondents in our survey stated that lack of cost benefits and marketing were factors that are holding LEAP back from increasing its user base. Concerning Dublin Bus, asking the driver to validate tickets at the end of your journey is frustrating and time-consuming, especially so during busy commuting periods where demand is high. An intelligent tag-on system needs to be incorporated on this mode of transport soon. Stage two will be the medium-term plan between years two to five. This will see debit/credit and retailer loyalty cards integrated into the system. A deal could be struck with major retailers like Tesco, Mothercare and Odeon cinemas, to offer reward points that could incorporate savings for the customer by having shopping cards linked to LEAP usage. For example, offering discounts on certain brands in stores or free tickets for cinemas when a certain amount is spent could generate more business for retailers in a competitive market. This may also provide valuable and surprising purchaser information for use in data analytics as a benefit to the subscribed retailers. When implementing debit/credit card integration, an initial cost will be inevitable but having the flexibility to upload money onto your leap card instantly via credit/debit card when your balance is low or empty is not just convenient but a revenue generator for LEAP as it should 17
increase user numbers. Stage three, will be titled ‘Full Integration’. This is the stage when the long-term goals of LEAP come to fruition. It is sensible that once the numbers are such that the costs are justifiable, that an App allowing NFC payments for LEAP is implemented. While obstacles need to be overcome with iPhone manufacturers Apple, Samsung and HTC; an App could save and generate income for all parties concerned as well as further increasing the potential for revenue generating analytical data. The majority of the public have smartphones, whether Android or iPhone so with all the major banks having developed Apps linking the technology would make sense. Passbook and Google digital wallets could use codes on your App to tag-on and off. Taxis could be brought on board as well, once it’s fully automated and payments can be made instantly into taxi-operator accounts. Taxis would need to be refitted with LEAP card scanners or be willing to take debit/credit card with LEAP functionality built-in. This in theory should not be an issue as partnering with existing provider Hailo may dictate successful expansion. Taxis being incorporated into the Octopus system in Hong Kong proved unsuccessful as issues with privacy and a lack of automation meant the system was unsustainable in the short-term. Utilising an existing and successful system such as Hailo (https://hailocab.com/ireland) could help circumvent this issue. For stages one, two and three to be successful a review of the current systems development life cycle has to be initiated. Planning – A plan with clearly defined project areas needs to put in place. All stakeholders including relevant technology bodies and transport agencies need to be conscious of the need for a coherent and viable plan for LEAP’s future. Provider terms of service, clearly defined hardware compatibility guides and pricing strategy are a must-have. Our team, if given a consultancy job of this nature, would firstly work to establish clear and effective communication links in order to facilitate the planning process. A full internal and external review will be performed of the system with market research and testing of the functionality of the current system a priority. A CRM team needs to be put in place to assess customers issues with current functionality and a forum or blog could possibly be set up to keep customers up to date with future events regarding LEAP. A roadmap should be uploaded on LEAP’s website for the public to view and suggest possible alterations. This should be done 18
over a six month timeframe to allow genuine feedback. Social media forums namely Twitter and Facebook could be used to promote the system. The demographic of users of social media is primarily 18–40 years of age but it is increasing. It’s an affordable channel to advertise when budgets are limited. Full testing on new upgrades and functions needs to be part of the planning phase and we propose that for stage two and three, trial runs or limited introduction of debit/credit and shopping card technologies be introduced. If it becomes apparent further revisions are required, these will be factored into a RUP/Scrum based development cycle to ensure prompt addressment of any particularly important issues. Analysis – A complete domain analysis needs to be undertaken. Systems to measure against would be Oyster in the U.K. and Octopus in Hong Kong. Ireland is late to the party when it comes to integrated transport ticketing, however this should mean it benefits from the knowledge of the mature systems rather than repeats their mistakes. Octopus is the pace-setter and many of its achievements and mistakes can be learned from. In depth research should be carried out on the perceived problems of the current system. Preliminary research has been undertaken by our group and the feedback has already suggested many possible upgrades to the system (Please see the appendix for survey analysis). Design – The functionality and specification of the new system needs to be clearly laid out. During stage one, when minor tweaks and upgrades are being made, a concurrent project team should work closely with Leap staff and transport companies, with their goal being the design of stage two and three. The problems regarding design failures from Oyster and Octopus should be analysed to address possible duplication issues. The question is: in stage one, how do we make the current system better integrated? The Dublin Bus scanning system needs to be made compatible with the LEAP card to avoid unnecessary queues during peak times. This major drawback for bus users is harming the future customer base. Implementation – Stage one would go live following the successful completion of the User Acceptance Testing phase. This expansion of functionality and flexibility for LEAP customers should improve market penetration. Clever marketing may also improve uptake of the 19
system, for instance playing on the ‘green’ factor of the system as no receipts are issued, no paper needed. During the second phase the implementation of linked bank/credit cards is the primary objective of the system. As mentioned previously the cost and financing of the deals between LEAP and the banks and retailers involved may be complex but with greater numbers come greater revenue. Furthermore, the cost may be reduced if consumer data is collected correctly and supplied to the banks in exchange for a cost offset. That said, a review should take place of what this data consists of and how data protection applies in this situation. Finally, the implementation of stage three with apps and digital wallet technology is brought on board. NFC and mobile payment (m-commerce) technology is still in its infancy globally, lacking standards and widespread adoption. Due to this, rather than design an intrinsically flawed system now, we intend to leave the detail design and implementation strategy of this phase until standards have been formalised and the technology has matured sufficiently to design a safe and effective system. Maintenance – Hardware issues related to the tag machines in train stations/Luas stops. Without accurate maintenance plans to review, it is hard to judge. Ideally this could be contracted out if deemed cost-effective, unifying all maintenance under one outsourced company. This could have added cost benefits in the removal of parts warehousing costs. As errors and fixes would be handled on an ad-hoc basis as they arise, this seems the best route to take. Software system issues would remain with IBM/HP on a maintenance contract basis in order to maximise the available expertise available to the system. This is particularly important given the ‘always available’ nature of the system. It would be extremely cost prohibitive to maintain the array of experts required to manage and upgrade such a large, technologically disparate system inhouse. 20
VI. Summary & Conclusions The Leap system appears best described as a ‘big-ball-of-mud’ from both the technical and responsibility point of view. Having said this, the system does undoubtedly work! The main issues presented are re-designs and developments of the system that are subject to unneeded added complexity and cost. The research found there are various double standards in place across the system, with the Luas, Dart and Bus systems all functioning slightly differently and all systems except the Dart seeming to having an intrinsic and relatively simple issue in the implementation (i.e. Luas change - on no distance travel). As a result of these two issues, our suggestions at a high level are to decompose the system into a simple concept. From there the complexity can be evolved down through the layers where needed, but only as appropriate. This would be in line with a RUP style approach to system documentation. This should improve visibility of the system and hopefully prompt a management review to clear some of the complexity from the systems. While we understand the complexity was a natural by-product of many of the compromises made in the implementation, in order to move ahead successfully in the future, ease of communication and simplicity of design are paramount. Any costs absorbed now through such a review would be offset by a reduction in cost of both new features and maintenance over the lifetime of the Leap system. As the system is constrained by budget, we found it difficult to propose any major redevelopments that could be viably considered as upon conversation with our sources, it was indicated the development costs would be astronomical. Hopefully over the coming years, and assuming the review we have previously suggested takes place, some of our suggestions will become viable additions to the Leap system. 21
VII. References Foote, B. and Yoder, J. (2000) Big Ball of Mud. Pattern Languages of Program Design 4. (N. Harrison, B. Foote and H. Rohnert, eds), Addisson-Wesley. Boston MA. Boards.ie Leap Card Summary of Products Available and Functionality. 2013. Boards.ie Leap Card Summary of Products Available and Functionality. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057066922 [Accessed 25 October 2013]. Dublinbus.ie Fare Information. 2013. Dublinbus.ie Fare Information. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dublinbus.ie/Fares--Tickets/Fare-Information/Fares/ [Accessed 25 October 2013]. Leapcard.ie Homepage. 2013. Leapcard.ie Homepage. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.leapcard.ie/en/Home.aspx [Accessed 15 November 2013]. Mezghani, M. (2008) Study on Electronic Ticketing in Public Transport: European Metropolitan Transport Authorities. 2013.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.emta.com/IMG/pdf/EMTA-Ticketing.pdf [Accessed 21 November 2013]. 22
National Transport Agency (2011) Greater Dublin Area Draft Transport Strategy: 2011-2030, 2030 Vision. 2013. . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nationaltransport.ie/downloads/GDA_Draft_Transport_Strategy_2011-2030.pdf. [Accessed 21 November 2013]. Transport For London Homepage. 2013. Transport For London Homepage. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/19976.aspx [Accessed 10 November 2013]. Octopus.com.hk Homepage. 2013. Octopus.com.hk Homepage. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.octopus.com.hk/home/en/index.html [Accessed 15 November 2013]. 23
VIII: APPENDICES: APPENDIX 1: TELEPHONE INTERVIEW WITH TIM GASTON Interview with Tim Gaston, National Transport Agency Director of Integrated Ticketing Scheme. (01/11/2013). 1pm. 1. How were the requirements gathered (were users of public transport consulted with surveys, etc.)? Tim said there was no easy answer to this. They didn’t just gather customer/ user expectations with surveys. The history of smart ticketing has been around for quite a few years and the government was aware of these initiatives and wanted a similar system for Dublin. Tim said that LEAP was a business requirement that came from a government mandate. There was a political imperative to bring in the LEAP system. Tim stated that looking back it may not have been the right thing to do. In some sense, the project could be compared to a benchmarking initiative with other countries. There had been a smart card committee at Dublin Bus since 1990s. In 2002, the then Minister for Transport Mary O’ Rourke decide she wanted to bring in a smart ticketing system. They developed the mandate. A couple of technology experts from the Department of Transport were involved in drafting the mandate for a single smart card scheme that would work on multiple forms of transport. All public and transport operators were included in the process. One single scheme would work at a national level. An original requirement was interoperability with NI was built in. Another requirement in the mandate was that it would integrate with the free travel scheme. The LEAP system would work with the original legacy ticketing schemes in place in the state. The contract was given to the Railway Procurement Agency instead of Dublin Bus – this was a business decision that was made and it created quite an amount of animosity because with Dublin Bus because they had been pushing for a scheme like this for years and the had 24
no expertise in an area like this. So the RPA recruited some international experts in the field. The RPA brought in a project manager and a technical manager. Then the RPA advertised for contractors to build the system. There were three separate contractors hired. The RPA used public procurements for the LEAP system. There was a project team established. They hired an independent consultancy firm called Sequoia Smart Solutions to come up with the original specifications/ requirements for the system in a document. http://www.sequoiasmartsolutions.com/ Sequoia won the initial tender and then they won a second tender also. 2. Did the various transport authorities implement using a unified (or even the same) design project and how was communication handled between the various transport agencies? There was an external body developed. There was requirement capture/ specification – they had their own personal expertise, but they also ran several workshops with the major transport providers to see what the requirements should be. They met with the Department of Finance and also conducted market research. Tim joined the team in 2003. There were the contractors and some of their own Irish programmers involved. They then tendered for suppliers – the suppliers would bring their own programmers. The original contract was to build and operate the LEAP system for 5 years. Tenders were put on Official European tenders website. The tenders went to market 2004 and tender responses came back in early 2005. They then came up against a huge challenge – none of businesses that had gone for the tender met the requirements they needed. The government then did a review report – the experts said that their design of requirements was spot on – it was the governance element that was wrong. This came back to the decision to give the project to the RPA – because the RPA was not a regulator and was not a non-statutory body they had no authority to tell Dublin Bus or any other firm to introduce 25
changes to fit the requirements for LEAP. There was a creative compromise needed between the different transport companies. Some of requirements they had were prescriptive and needed to be refined. Minister for Transport Martin Cullen (2004-2007) created a non-statutory body, called the Integrated Ticketing Board – they put the CEOs of the RPA, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail on this board as well as the CEOs of private transport companies and also a Civil Servant and a Former Secretary General as well. Tim now reported to this Board and it made life a lot easier for him. Minister Cullen made it very clear that had to stop fighting with each other, start working together and work it out. Tim was now making recommendations to the Board and they were carrying these out. If the National Transport Agency had existed back then they would not have had these governance issues and everything would have been much simpler. Minister Noel Dempsey eventually founded the NTA as the regulator for transport in Ireland. Good governance was essential for success. Unless you have other stakeholders who can influence the process and have a certain ownership of the project then nothing will get done. The Integrated Ticketing Board took the design of the system and went back to the market. They separated the project into two tenders – one for the building of the system and the other for the operation of the system. IBM built the integrated ticketing system, they spent €13 million building the system’s back office. HP won the tender to operate the system, build the website, etc. They defined the system as everything involved in the system, from the communications between devices, the back office, the call centre, the website, the cards, the retail element of the selling of cards. HP was given responsibility of providing parts that weren’t there as well as the parts that were. HP was responsible for running the back office, dealing with an exceptional circumstances, downtime, etc. HP responsible for the IT management of back office, making sure servers were working, proper firewalls were working, database management. 26
A lot of the work was done offshore, in MANILA in the Phillipines. HP built the website www.leapcard.ie, set up call centre, they needed to purchase leap cards, and finally set up the top up network – how this would be done. A problem was that they had to integrate with the old Dublin Bus ticketing system. The problem was that DB system couldn’t top up people’s LEAP cards when they got on the bus. They needed electronic retail outlets – HP brought in Payzone to handle this. Payzone manage the devices in the shops around Ireland. The store owners get between 2 and a half to 3% of the cost of all LEAP credit sold, and Payzone get a small percentage of every purchase. Even though the store makes next to nothing on each sale, the incentive is that they get people coming in to their stores to top up their cards and these people probably purchase other items while they are there. Tim explained that IBM probably used a waterfall method when they were programming the system – they provided hardware and firewalls. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/success/cssdb.nsf/CS/JSTS-7VKL75 http://www-05.ibm.com/tr/smartercities/exhibit/documents/pdf/5_Government_Singapore_ Land_Authority.pdf IBM subcontracted a lot of work out to NSI in Singapore (couldn’t find this company on the web) – they already had developed a smart card system for public transportation in Singapore, and they just modified the software for LEAP, therefore using Waterfall methods because NSI was an organisation that had widely practiced the waterfall method of programming in their organisation. This was a very difficult period for stakeholders involved with LEAP because for 9 months they didn’t see much in terms of deliverables and then there were problems when they finally came back to them with the software. Tim mentioned getting this project completed by IBM on budget as being a success and that this was almost unique in the public sector because €12-13 million was the original estimate, and the final price after about 80 variations of the software, the software was delivered for €13.5m. So it was a huge success coming in on budget and on time. Tim mentioned that IBM had negotiated a very, very hard deal. They wanted all of LEAP’s requirements to be vastly simplified and Tim had to fight hard to keep the requirements as they were. IBM were coming across that it would be fine and why were the Integrated 27
Ticketing Board being so unreasonable. 3. Did the requirements for the project evolve over its course or did the requirements stay fixed from the start of the project? They broadly stayed the same as at the start. They still haven’t delivered the interoperability requirement with Northern Ireland but they couldn’t achieve this due to security requirements that they couldn’t guarantee the authorities in N.I. would comply with. It would require changes to the infrastructure in N.I. Tim hinted that this was around the area of cards being tampered with. Capping is being rolled out in Dublin Bus in December. You’ll be only able to pay a certain amount for a fare. There will be capping across all different transport sectors. 4. What does the future hold for LEAP? Or what would you like to do with the system in the future? Tim said that one thing they were working on at the moment was looking to London and their Oyster card scheme. Dublin has caught up to where London was about three years ago. In the last 2 years Transport for London have been working on a new type of ticketing system where people can use their bank cards to pay for transport: you hold your card to the reader and it scans it using NFC – Near field communications technology. It’s a flat fare in London. What they are developing and about to launch, you can use in it underground and on overground trains. When you use your bank card you are good to travel for the rest of the day. If you are doing a lot of travelling, the card is scanned and you are automatically charged with the best value ticket choice for the customer. It’s very targeted and they have a very powerful back office running these complicated algorithms to make it all work. They wouldn’t tell Tim the exact figure but they have spent 10s of millions of euros developing this. You don’t have to pre-register your bank card either, tourists can use it straight away. If he could do one thing in the next 5 years it would be implementing a system like this in Dublin. Even if a system like this comes in in Dublin, LEAP will still have its role to play; they won’t replace it, as LEAP is still integrated with the public travel scheme. LEAP will still have its use. 28
When I asked him about the idea of integrating a digital wallet or phone scanning with LEAP, Tim explained that there are complications with using phones. One of the problems comes down to different standards between telecommunications companies and transport companies which need to be aligned as there is currently a gap. Android users need to group together to let their phones be integrated with transport company readers. Tim explained that if there is a reading time of any more than than half a second for readers it creates huge delays and problems. As things stand, the mobile telecommunications industry is creating one set of standards and the transport companies have another set of standards and there is a stand-off going on. The transport companies are saying “our entire infrastructure is already in place why can’t you just tweak your phones slightly?” There is also the added complexity of the huge number of different providers involved. Security needs to be managed, there are the owners of the payment gateways (VISA /Mastercard ,etc). Also Apple have decided not to make i-phones NFC compatible which means half of all phone users couldn’t use the system if it was in place. The jury is still out. Other types of ticketing such as the bank card may be more achievable as the phone as payment system will not be viable for the next 3-4 years. In France, there is a government body creating necessary standards to span the gap that currently exists. The French market is heavily into NFC approach as they see the benefits that accrue. 29
APPENDIX 2:TELEPHONE INTERVIEW WITH BRENDAN FLYNN (Technology Development Manager, Dublin Bus). 25th October 2013. 1. The initial idea for LEAP and how they justified it. Answer 1: The initial germ of the LEAP system goes back to about the year 2000. It started with a government mandate from the Department of Public Enterprise to the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) to implement a smart-card transport system in the greater Dublin area. Originally the scope of the scheme was much greater including financial and retail services on the e-purse card such as paying for park-and-ride services, etc. The original mandate included an idea for a rebate system (i.e. hop on a different bus you get some money back). The original mandate for the scheme included the idea of nationwide use even extending to cross-border use with Northern Ireland (idea that it would be integrated with what would later become the Oyster system). The initial idea for the scheme was a ‘no-brainer’ because the Department of Public Enterprise and the different transport companies realised that there were currently barriers to getting transportation for the public and wanted to overcome these. Dublin Bus and the rail companies already had monthly transport tickets but they wanted these tickets to all be integrated on the one card. The realised that if you’re paying cash for two buses that was two cash fares and that this was unfair to the public if they had to pay a transfer penalty. So they started with the idea of a stored value e-purse and decided to try and make it as fair as possible. The design of the LEAP system was undertaken by a committee system with all the relevant partners (RPA, Department of Public Enterprise, transport companies). Dublin bus had had their own magnetic ticketing system for over 10 years at this time and needed to see how they were going to upgrade this system. Dublin Bus also had a paper ticketing system for cash and basically had the attitude of ‘Look, if you can give us the requirements we will go about making this happen. LUAS were just getting up and running and were saying that from the first day we will have smart card reader technology in place. LUAS ended up starting off with their own LUAS smartcard as LEAP was not ready at the 30
time. Dublin bus brought in their own smartcards and smartcard readers in 2005. Coming up with the specification for LEAP was quite a ‘torturous process’ as LEAP has a ‘torturous system’. Brendan described it as having ‘a big beast of a clearing system’. In 2009 to 2010 the LEAP system was coming closer to fruition but there was a political imperative to complete the project. They were forced to introduce the e-purse in 2011 but it didn’t have all the features ready such as multi-operating capping (e.g. you can only spend a certain amount per week or per month on transport before it’s capped). Brendan explained that the rebate hasn’t been introduced yet but they will be launching it in February or March 2014. E.g. you’ll get on a second bus and it will only charge you €1.50, will refund you some money. This had been a major selling point of LEAP from the beginning but they will only be able to roll-out the feature now. What complicates matters even further and adds to the complexity is that all the different transport companies are running their own in-house systems. The reason that they treated the LEAP project in a phased approach was that it was more manageable this way. The different transport companies directors get together and say ‘ok which feature can we all realistically get implemented now’. €30 million was the initial capital cost estimate for the LEAP project and now the cost has increased to €55 million, of which this is nearly all spent. Brendan explained that a Cost-Benefit analysis was conducted and the cost of €30 million appeared to justify the LEAP system. 1. A statement of the requirements the LEAP system delivers? Answer 2: Brendan believes the current system has delivered on the original requirements of the stored value e-purse and that the stored rebate requirement (i.e. that they system can deliver this, just has to be rolled out). If achieved the requirement of public transport users to not have to carry change all the time. You can get all your different monthly tickets onto a LEAP card now so this has benefits when you put all of these factors together. When I spoke to him about a ‘flat-fare’ system and how this would not workable for Dublin Bus’s business model currently due to the economics of it, Brendan agreed and made the point that bigger cities like New York and London can introduce flat fares but with Dublin Bus if they were told they had to introduce flat fares while receiving the same subsidies this simply would not be possible at the moment and would affect the service. Brendan also made the point that it is 31
different now that there is a proper regulator in place like the National Transport Agency, a serious regulator such as this could have the power to bring in something like flat fares should they choose to do so. Brendan agreed that if they did bring in flat fares it would simplify things for workers at Dublin Bus as well as public-transport using citizens. 1. How were the requirements gathered (were users of public transport consulted with surveys, etc.)? Brendan explained that there was market research carried out that there was consultation with the public about the system but it would be better if I asked Tim from the NTA about this as he knows more about it. Interestingly they had an idea of what they wanted for the LEAP system and this broadly was in line with the results of the market research. The requirements were decided by the public transport operators. Brendan admitted that when they began they should have looked at things from a flat-fares perspective but the lack of a transport regulator at the time prevented this. Instead what actually happened was they took this very big complex, system and tried to somehow map or squeeze in multiple features and tickets onto the LEAP system. Brendan explained that this was a concern for him because though it will technically work with the LEAP system it can be confusing. 1. From where does each requirement originate? Requirements came from the government mandate. 1. How the current system matches up to the original requirements? Brendan believes that the current LEAP system does broadly match up with the original requirements. The cross-border interoperability was never achieved but perhaps it will be sometime in the future. 1. Why did management decide to go with RFID cards for LEAP over an alternative technology? Brendan stated that the decision to go with RFID was a no-brainer. In 2002 smart cards were in their infancy; however they had looked at what was going on in Finland, Hong Kong and how London had experimented with RFID technology. We spoke for a little bit about digital wallets such as the Google wallet and I asked whether the LEAP system could be integrated with a Google wallet. Brendan explained that with any system certain authentication is 32
required, he stated that it is probably a possibility but currently they are trying to get the last few features rolled out for LEAP and may examine this possibility after this. Brendan explained that ‘near-field’ communications have been around for 6 or 7 years but haven’t really taken off to a massive extent yet. He gave the example of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) which was hailed as being the next big thing at the time but it never took off: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Application_Protocol 1. Was the Oyster system in the U.K. or any other country’s integrated ticketing system used as a blueprint for the LEAP system? Yes it was. At the time Oyster wasn’t up and running but the Irish government transportation officials were aware of its existence and they discussed the system with their counterparts in the U.K. They also looked at similar systems in Finland, especially in the small town of Tampere which was one of the first to roll-out RFID technology: http://joukkoliikenne.tampere.fi/en/ They also had contacts in Hong Kong who they liaised with and had a reasonable amount of dialogue with. 1. In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the LEAP system? In Brendan’s opinion the advantages of the LEAP system is its convenience. You can have all your tickets under a single brand. You can purchase public transport in a simpler fashion at a reduced cost. 1. Any compromises they were forced to make (and how they decided on these compromises). Interestingly Brendan said he didn’t think there were any disadvantages to the system from the public’s point of view. However from the operators point of view (their view), one disadvantage would be the complexity of the system as a work in development. There are more constraints on operators as being part of an integrated system contrasting to if they just had their own ticketing system. I asked them how they get the information off the ticket machines on the buses. Brendan explained that this happens at night when the buses go back to the Bus Depot. The information is downloaded onto their central system and there is overnight processing done which is then sent onto LEAP where they are reimbursed for fares, etc. Brendan pointed out that the Dublin Bus system is an older legacy system which 33
they purchased in 2003 which doesn’t have live, online capabilities like Irish Rail does. If they could change things they would look for a live system. In terms of compromises, Brendan did not think they had to make too many. One compromise would be having the freedom to introduce your own tickets (e.g. monthly, weekly paper tickets, these have to be on LEAP now). Brendan asked why couldn’t there be a family of cards available. Brendan explained that this was a stipulation of the government mandate that all other prepaid tickets would have to be removed as these could be seen as competing with LEAP. However Brendan never bought into this, surely if you could do this it would give companies the freedom to introduce low cost tickets. For example you could have special low cost tickets for tourists as opposed to them having to pay for the high cost of a LEAP card and the expensive cost of the deposit that goes with it. So Brendan feels there should have been a family of cards (did he mean plastic cards similar to LEAP or paper tickets???). He pointed out that there still is no solution to the tourist predicament with LEAP. 1. Anything they would have done differently/would like to do in the future. If he could have done things differently he would have started with a blank sheet and said ‘OK, What does the city want in terms of a system?’. He would have looked at a cheaper, simpler pricing structure/ policy and built the structure of LEAP around that. Instead they did the reverse which was to have a sprawling mix of things. They are actually now saying ‘OK, How can we pare things back now?’. Brendan believes that capping fares and offering rebates will improve the system a lot. If he had a wish list if would be to further simplify the ticketing range. Can we edge towards fewer fares on buses as the current system is complicated for drivers and for customers. With an aim to improve they may look at mobile phone integration – so LEAP may evolve in this direction. 1. In your opinion, do you believe the LEAP system has been a success so far? Brendan would say the LEAP system has been a success so far. There is a lot of benefit to the system considering the range of features they had to squeeze into it. If public transport users have a daily spend that is high currently, the capping feature will make a difference to them immediately. 34
APPENDIX 3: LEAP SURVEY RESULTS: 35
APPENDIX 4: EXAMPLE OF HOW DIFFERENT LEAP TAG-ON REQUIREMENTS AND DUBLIN BUS FARE PRICING STRUCTURES MAY CAUSE USER CONFUSION: LEAP CARD – Summary of Ticket Products Available: PAY-AS-YOU GO E-PURSE: · Dublin Bus (All services) – Tag on only - May require to interact with driver · Irish Rail (Short Hop Zone only) – Daily and weekly (Monday-Sunday) capping applies – Tag on and off · Bus Eireann (limited to Greater Dublin Area –excepting 100X and 101) – Tag on only via driver · LUAS (All services) – Daily and weekly (Monday-Sunday) capping applies – Tag on and off · Matthews Coaches (Bettystown-Laytown-Dublin service) – Tag on only via driver · Wexford Bus (All services) – Tag on only via driver · Swords Express (All services) – Tag on only via driver PERIOD PASSES: Dublin Bus: Rambler 5 Day Adult - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side Rambler 30 Day Adult - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side Rambler 5 Day Student – requires Student LEAP Card - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side Rambler 30 Day Student – requires Student LEAP Card - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side Rambler 1 Day Family - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side 39
Annual Bus Only Travelwide Ticket (requires personalised LEAP card) - Tag on only via Validator on righthand side Bus Eireann: Daily (24 hours) Greater Dublin Area zonal unlimited travel tickets - Tag on only via driver Weekly (7 day) Greater Dublin Area zonal unlimited travel tickets - Tag on only via driver Wexford Bus: Weekly 10 Journey Ticket Adult - Tag on only via driver Weekly 10 Journey Ticket Student - Tag on only via driver Swords Express: 10 Journey Ticket - Tag on only via driver Dublin Bus LEAP FARES: Adult Fares Cash Fare Leap Card Fare Stages 1 to 3 €1.65 €1.40 Stages 4 to 7 €2.15 €1.90 Stages 8 to 13 €2.40 €2.10 Over 13 Stages €2.80 €2.45 Outer Suburban 1 €2.80 €2.45 Outer Suburban 2 €4.40 €4.00 Xpresso in 1 zone €3.25 €2.90 40
Xpresso in 2 zones €4.40 €4.00 Route 90 & 91 €1.80 €1.60 Route 236 €1.65 €1.40 City Centre fare €0.65 €0.55 Child Fares Cash Fare Leap Card Fare Schoolchild * €0.80 €0.70 Stages 1 to 7 €1.00 €0.90 Over 7 Stages €1.25 €1.10 Outer Suburban 1 €1.25 €1.10 Outer Suburban 2 €2.10 €1.90 Xpresso in 1 zone €2.15 €1.90 Xpresso in 2 zones €2.50 €2.20 Route 90 & 91 €0.95 €0.90 Route 221 & 236 €0.95 €0.90 City Centre fare €0.65 €0.55 41
Airlink Fares Adult €6.00 €6.00 Child €3.00 €3.00 Nitelink Fare Adult €5.70 €5.00 42
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