QA Success Story: Otago Regional Council
Qual IT at the forefront of a new regional integrated ticketing system
Find out how Qual IT helped implement a new integrated ticketing system for smart bus cards across nine different regions...
Need: Provide an independent assurance of quality by ensuring the system selected from the overseas vendor was fit for purpose and could be implemented across nine regions.
Solution: Work with the overseas vendor to develop a rigorous and professional testing plan and strategy, tailored for each region.
Outcome: The ticketing system has been successfully implemented by all nine councils within the consortium.
New Zealand’s ageing bus ticketing systems have been undergoing an overhaul, and Qual IT has been at the forefront of making sure the system is fit for purpose, by providing an independent view on quality through testing with Otago Regional Council, six other regional councils and two city councils.
Together these nine councils formed a consortium to find a solution that would enhance the stability and robustness of their ticketing systems. Led by Otago Regional Council, the consortium implemented standardised ticketing policies and processes using an innovative, overseas ticketing system, at the same time launching a new smart transit card called the Bee Card.
Qual IT, a New Zealand owned and operated company, was employed by the consortium as a safe pair of hands that understood their local needs and could tailor the overall delivery approach accordingly. To ensure the project was delivered effectively, Qual IT created a rigorous and professional testing strategy and a comprehensive implementation plan. Qual IT partnered with the consortium for three years to ensure the project’s successful completion.
Thousands of Kiwis across the country can now successfully use their Bee Card to travel on public transport across all of the nine regions. As a fully contactless system, the new ticketing system means passengers now only need to keep their one Bee Card in their wallet to know they can travel on any of the networks in these regions.
The new, contactless, ticketing system has been well received by operators as well, who have been able to safely operate buses without having to handle change as frequently as before.
Together, these features mean the new ticketing system is delivering a vastly enhanced user experience for passengers and operators alike.
Mark Young, General Manager of Southern operations for Qual IT, is proud of the outcome that has been achieved. He believes Qual IT not only helped enhance the public transport user experience for thousands of Kiwis, but also put robust systems in place that can serve as a stepping stone to a future national ticketing system. “This was a big project but our team was prepared to respond to our client’s needs and deliver - no matter the time frame, complexity or any other challenge,” says Mark.
“One significant challenge of this project was working with stakeholders in different geographical locations, particularly with Covid-related travel restrictions,” explains Mark. “Our team managed people across nine councils, including an overseas vendor, via Zoom, with exceptional results.”
Paul Everett, Operations Manager for the Otago Regional Council, was delighted with Qual IT’s contribution to the project and states that they couldn’t have done it without them. “Without the framework and strategy from Qual IT, this project would not have been so successful,” Paul says.
He also credits Qual IT’s contribution as paving the way for all nine of the councils to implement the new ticketing system. “The work that was done by Qual IT has effectively acted for all the councils in the consortium, no one else was doing this level of testing,” he explains.
Paul said that he would definitely consider using Qual IT for similar work in the future, and credits the team for their exemplary professionalism. “You could just trust them to get on with things. We never had to worry about anything they were dealing with as they just got on and did it.”
Activities carried out by Qual IT prior to launch
- Multiple rounds of Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT)
- Preparation of test cases for the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) activities
- Test execution activities for end to end system integration testing (SIT) on behalf of the consortium
- Undertaking risk-based testing alongside the FAT and SIT phases – specifically on the complex domain areas of GTFS (General Transit Feed Specifications) and Tariffs and Fares
- Supported and managed the testing activities for scheme management (managing shared data and inter-region transactions) and financial management (transaction and financial information across regions)
- Release management
- Test environment and data management
- Defect management and risk assessment
- Test monitoring and control, stage-gate management and reporting