Weird press release from TfL just in:

Transport for London to terminate £100m a year Oyster contract.

The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) are convinced that any new contract will deliver enhanced services for less money, driving significant savings.

The Mayor is keen to improve the Oyster card to make it even more attractive for Londoners and TfL will work to make sure this happens both quickly and in a way that represents the best value.

Shashi Verma, TfL’s Director of Fares and Ticketing said: ‘Transport for London is committed to delivering value for money across all of its services.

‘As part of this we are looking at more cost effective ways to manage and develop the Oyster card system that we expect will save millions over the next few years.

‘The savings will be reinvested to deliver further improvements in London’s transport system.’

That’s it.  Oyster is a PFI, of course, and the EDS/Cubic Transys consortium does indeed suck down large lumps of money for their (recently rather erratic) services, so it’s quite possible there are savings to be made by, say, nationalising it, just as with Croydon Tramlink.  Having said that, it’s a trifle odd that this comes out with no detail right in the middle of the time when work should be going full steam ahead on getting at least South West Trains onto Oyster by the middle of next year.  No cheerful comment from Boris, either – Verma is a Ken-era appointment, so it’s not a new-broom-making-a-mark thing either.  Puzzling.  Watch this space.

Update: Missed this bit off the bottom:

TranSys’ shareholders include Cubic (UK) Ltd, EDS International Ltd, Fujitsu Services Ltd. and WS Atkins Consultants Ltd.  The contract was put in place in 1998 for a term of 17 years. TfL is terminating the contract by exercising a break option in the contract

Tim Parker going through the contracts and getting out of expensive ones while he can?

 
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