Consortium of Thales, Accenture and Vialis Selected to Create Unified Transport Ticketing and Payment System for the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM; Oct. 23, 2003 – Trans Link Systems has chosen The East-West Consortium -- led by Thales, Accenture and Vialis -- to design, develop and implement a unified electronic ticketing and payment system for public transit in The Netherlands.

The new system, which will cover train, metro, bus, ferry and tram journeys, will be the first e-ticketing and payment system in the world to be implemented on a national scale. It is anticipated the system will be rolled out beginning September 2004 in Rotterdam. The contract for the East-West Consortium is currently valued at € 120 million, with additional contracts for products and services to follow over the next five years.

Passengers will use a smart-card that combines the functions of an electronic ticket and "purse." This card can be loaded with value by using machines in the stations or by authorizing the Public Transport Company to automatically debit the card holder’s bank account. As a passenger boards a train, bus or tram, he or she places the card in front of an electronic reader, which scans the card to calculate the fare and deduct it from the card balance. The system will ensure that all fares are credited to the appropriate public transport company. When the system is fully operational, it will accommodate more than 2 million passengers per day.

According to Jeroen Kok, chairman of Trans Link Systems, the goals of the project are to enhance passenger convenience, increase social safety in public transport, reduce fare evasion and improve public transport companies’ management of information. “The seamless integration of all transport ticketing and payment systems across Holland will enable passengers to travel from one end of the country to the other using a single ticket,” said Mr. Kok.

Each Consortium member will provide complementary capabilities. Thales, through its Transport and Services division, will provide its smartcard knowledge and experience in the conception and implementation of large-scale, integrated fare collection systems; Vialis will install and maintain the system’s physical infrastructure, such as smartcard readers and ticketing and fare machines. Accenture will integrate the system’s technology infrastructure and will operate the system’s backoffice, which includes clearing and settlement of revenues for the participating transport companies.

Additionally, as subcontractors to Thales, Hong Kong’s MTRC Corporation & Octopus Cards Limited will provide the central back office as well as expertise in operations.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 83,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is

About Thales and Thales e-Transactions CGA S.A.
Thales is a world leader in professional electronics in three key markets: Aerospace, Defence and Information Technology & Services (IT&S). The Group employs 65,000 people in nearly 50 countries worldwide, and generated revenues of over €11 billion in 2002.

Within the IT&S business area, Thales e-Transactions CGA S.A. ( is a world leader in integrated fare systems for transport. It offers innovative systems, products and services. Thales has already won world-wide contracts in the field of contactless technology, as in Olso, Bangkok, Taiwan, Singapore, New Delhi, Hong-Kong, France and Mexico.

About Vialis
Vialis is one of the more than 150 subsidiaries of VolkerWessels (VolkerWessels Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin nv ) and Vialis Traffic & Mobility focuses on integrating, optimising and managing traffic flows in all modalities. VolkerWessels is a construction group in the Netherlands, which concentrates on the design, development, realisation and management of construction projects. Vialis works at the national and international level, together with local and national authorities, businesses, interest groups and knowledge institutions on the acquisition, application and continued development of knowledge of products, systems, service and consultancy in the area of traffic and mobility, and has access to references in all modalities of traffic mobility. The Vialis homepage:

About Trans Link Systems
Trans Link Systems is an initiative of five major public transport companies in the Netherlands: Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), Connexxion, GVB (Amsterdam), RET (Rotterdam) en HTM (The Hague). This alliance serves more than 80% of the public transport market. Trans Link Systems also co-operates with the remaining public transport companies, united under MOBIS. For more information about Trans Link Systems, look on the site: