Seek assurances from your suppliers and sub-contractors, that their production and manufacturing schedules will meet your project schedule and inventory requirements throughout the lifecycle of the project.
Orlando, Florida's experience with a Field Operational Test (FOT) on using a single smart card for transportation payments at facilities operated by multiple regional agencies.
Accordingly, the ORANGES experience provides the following guidance:
- Order more smart cards than the partners initially think they will need. Make a liberal estimate of card requirements for the initial card order, to avoid card re-supply delays during the cardholder recruitment period. For example, after the requirement for maintaining 800-1000 active cards throughout the 12-month demonstration period was established, the agencies attempted to order more smart cards from the supplier (Gemplus) to supplement the original order of 2100 cards. However, the production of this particular type of card had been discontinued. This was an issue because the replacement card type offered by the supplier was not compatible with the original card type, and its use would have required additional development expense (in terms of time and money) to integrate the new smart card into the program (which the FOT was not in a position to undertake). As Gemplus demonstrated here, card products can be discontinued before the replacement product is available – or conceivably without offering a replacement at all – and with little warning to current customers. In deciding how many cards to order initially, the implementation team had mistakenly assumed that they would be able to order additional cards if needed.
- Plan for a sufficient supply of smart cards throughout the life cycle. It is important to seek assurances from your suppliers and sub-contractors that their production and manufacturing schedules will meet your project schedule. Include provisions in initial supplier agreements to guarantee the option to purchase additional cards throughout the project lifecycle, or to alternatively allow the project to migrate to a newer generation of cards and readers in a cost effective manner.
The participating cardholders generally expressed a positive opinion about the technology, with concerns focusing primarily on the limited scale of deployment. The card availability issue limited the number of customers that could participate, but had no effect on the system performance experienced by cardholders (unless they needed a replacement card).
The ORANGES experience demonstrated that ensuring a sufficient and predictable supply of smart cards when developing a regional smart card payment system is critical for ensuring adequate numbers of customers for this type of ITS system. The examples above show different strategies and techniques for ordering cards, and working with vendors to ensure adequate card supplies. If these strategies and techniques are followed, stakeholders involved in other similar ITS projects will be more likely to avoid the pit falls associated with insufficient smart-card supplies.
Author: Moniz, Leisa M. (Volpe) et al.
Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration
Source Date: 8/1/2004
EDL Number: 14268URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te/14268.htm
U.S. DOT/RITA/John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
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