Oyster card readers.

UK: Transport for London announced on November 14 that it had agreed a new contract for the management of the Oyster smart card ticketing system.

In August TfL gave the required two years' notice that it was exercising a break option in the 17-year Prestige Private Finance Initiative contract agreed in 1998 with the TranSys consortium of Cubic Transportation Systems, EDS International, Fujitsu Services and WS Atkins Consultants.

TfL said the replacement contract with just Cubic Transportation Systems and EDS offers better value for money than the previous PFI contract, which was worth £100m a year. TfL will take over the Oyster brand, ensuring the name continues beyond the end of the original contract.

Oyster was launched in 2003, and there are now more than 6 million cards in regular use, with 38 million journeys a week made on Underground, Docklands Light Railway, tram, bus and some rail services in London.

'This new deal will see Oyster in the pockets of Londoners for years to come and will save significant money that TfL will invest in improving transport in the capital', said Shashi Verma, TfL's Director of Fares & Ticketing. 'TfL is delighted that its successful partnership with Cubic and EDS will now continue for the next five years. The new contracts will deliver better value for money and improvements to Oyster for passengers across London.'