i.e. is there any technical need for people to return their IR smart cards to get a Leap card?
Could the existing stock of IR Smartcards not be used on buses with a simple software config option?
The cards are completely different from a technical perspective.
In theory its possible but the card wouldn't support auto top up, capping, rebates etc basically all the useful things leap will bring in 2012.
Are they not both MiFare cards?
The Irish Rail and Luas cards are MiFare Classic type, Leap is not a MiFare classic type. The exact card type in use is not disclosed.
That'll only take a few weeks till someone sands one down. Not a "trade secret" really worth withholding.
Are they not functions of the back end system, not the cards themselves?
Nope back office is never part of a real-world transaction it just balances the books as it gets the previous days transactions. If you tomorrow switched off the back office the cards would continue to work fine, you won't be able to top up online but beyond that everything would be normal to the end user. Transport companies wouldn't have a clue about revenue and usage though.
Auto-top, capping and rebates all depend on the card itself retaining the information required so that the reader when it sees the card knows to issue the appropriate fare.
Except on the bus when the customer has to tell the driver where they're going so (s)he can calculate the fare.....
It is the norm nowadays that if you have a luas or IR smartcard, you should apply to leapcard.ie to get a free card. Their I.T. database is being updated to the leap card this minute. So, There is a realisation that if you used your old smartcard in a few months time, your card may be out of date even if you topped it up with lots of credit. How much credit is on their card? It should be up to the individual passengers themselves who have these luas and IR smartcards had put in. The staff at leap are letting them know that they do not want you lose out in a big way. I mean they don't want to see passengers wasting more money paying for transport because people who are buying or getting a free leap card are probably scraping on by just at this minute. If passengers are sticking to a budget, they cannot see themselves waste more money because they may have plenty of others bills to pay off like their mortgage or their health insurance etc.
If they can't stick to that, well then their own finances could be in limbo.
Sorry man, I'm not too sure what you are trying to say.
Even if the cards were the same physical chipset, all the keys would need to be removed and regenerated. Then, not all smartcards allow applications to be deleted. Those that do allow it, require authentication with the highest level of cryptographic keys which are only kept in a secure location and *never* in retail or operator card readers. This would mean the DB and Luas cards would need to be returned to the NTA to be reloaded with the new applications - a very manual process that would be much more time consuming than the process they opted for.
Less technically, the branding would be wrong once the cards had been upgraded People would end up presenting Luas and DB cards to Dublin Bus drivers.....
There's no need to sand one down, just wave it past any contactless reader and see what the ATR is.