16 Dec 2008View Comments
Transport for London (TfL) will be refocusing its technology strategy and consolidating budgets to help towards its aim of generating £2.4bn of " efficiency savings".
The sharper focus on IT is a result of demands from London mayor Boris Johnson and TfL commissioner Peter Hendy to drive down costs. To that end, a staff reduction of “several hundreds” will also take place, though it is not yet known whether the cull will affect technology workers.
TfL said its planned information management (IM) programme will produce service improvements. The initiative – which will be funded by existing IM budgets, now consolidated – is expected to generate savings of £400m.
The requirements will see the transport body focusing its resources in project delivery related to desktop services, datacentre and hosting services, application portfolio management and voice and data network services.
'TfL has identified £2.4bn of efficiency savings that will be delivered through de-layering management, eliminating duplication, reducing headcount and improving technology,” said a TfL spokesman.
“The changes are focused on support and non-operational functions including, among many other areas, our IT activities, so that we continue to improve our passenger services while we deliver this massive investment programme,” he said.
Initiatives linked to ticketing will also contribute to TfL’s cost cutting-plan, such as the replacement of the deal between TfL and the TranSys consortium by a new contract with EDS and Cubic for the future management and development of the Oyster smartcard.
"The new contracts will deliver better value for money and improvements to Oyster for passengers across London," Shashi Verma, TfL's director of fares and ticketing said at the the time.
Other alternatives to generate cost savings being considered by TfL include the replacement of the current ticketing system with contactless bank cards provided by Visa and Mastercard, as well as use of mobile phones enabled with near-field communications technology.
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