Electronic travel card has already cost two billion kroner

Runaway costs and a four year delay have the Rejsekort looking like yet another DSB boondoggle

For the first time, state rail operator DSB has revealed in its annual report just how much the scandal-ridden electronic travel card Rejsekort has cost them so far.

The reported damage was one billion kroner, but because DSB owns a 50.5 percent stake in Rejsekort A/S, the company behind the card, the actual price tag could be over two billion kroner.

“The Rejsekort is clearly a scandal, almost on a par with the IC4 trains,” Henning Jensen, a consultant at PLUSCON, a company specialising in electronic payment systems, told science weekly Ingeniøren.

DSB had not previously revealed its total investment to date in the troubled card.

The bloated price tag is just the latest in a series of negative news surrounding the Rejsekort. A recently released 2010 report from Gartner, a US IT consultancy firm, indicated that the electronic public transit ticketing system has problems with its payment system. The full report was buried by the Transport Ministry for two years.

The ministry only publicised a summary of the report, which did not include the critical details of the financial aspects of the Rejsekort project, which Gartner identified as the main problem with the system. Criticism of the missing report only surfaced when Ingeniøren complained to the parliamentary ombudsman after the ministry denied it access to documents.

Jensen said that it was “deeply shocking” that it has been so hard to get clear answers on what the system costs. He also said that the growing use of smartphones to order train, bus and Metro tickets creates even more problems for the Rejsekort system.

“Many people get their tickets on their smartphone today, and the Rejsekort cannot keep up,” he said.

DR News has previously reported that the Rejsekort could wind up costing the country's rail and bus companies nearly three billion kroner more than their current systems over the next 15 years.

The national auditor's office, Rigsrevisionen has also blasted the project as “amateurish and sloppy” in a report, and the readers of Computerworld magazine have nominated Rejsekort as their “IT Flop of the Year” several times since 2010.




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