Govt Transport Agency Welcomes Snapper To Auckland


metlinkIn the latest twist in the integrated ticketing saga, the government’s  transport agency has welcomed the bombshell announcement that Snapper is heading off preferred tenderer Thales and introducing its Snapper card into Auckland.

The NZ Transport Agency is making it clear that Snapper will be allowed into the integrating ticketing mix both in Auckland and nationwide.

The agency makes no mention of Thales by name – but NZTA chief executive, Geoff Dangerfield, said the NZTA would continue to engage with a range of technology and transport operators to ensure that “their preferences with respect to electronic ticketing” are advanced both in Auckland and nationally.

He added that it’s important to ensure that the technical standards and issues of interoperability have industry backing. Snapper, in making the announcement today that it will introduce its card on its subsidiary NZBuses and in Auckland retail outlets next year, said it was already working with the agency to ensure it was satisfied that national standards were met.

The transport agency says the national system will be flexible enough to allow future technologies and electronic ticket providers to connect to the central system, provided they meet the technical standards defined by the NZTA, with individual public transport operators able to decide which electronic ticketing equipment best meets their business needs.

Mr Dangerfield says there will be discussions with Snapper and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) on how the Snapper system could be made compatible with integrated ticketing nationally and in Auckland.

Last month the NZTA agreed to establish a national ticketing programme for public transport in New Zealand, and approved funding for the development of the ARTA’s integrated ticketing and fares systems as a first step. French-based Thales was ARTA’s preferred supplier and this had been agreed to by the NZTA.

ARTA’s Chief Executive, Fergus Gammie , responded to Snapper’s announcement by saying more details of the timing for Auckland’s integrated ticket would be made available shortly. He termed the Snapper announcement as ‘premature’ saying the authority is currently negotiating a contract for a full multi-modal integrated ticketing system for bus, rail and ferry services in Auckland.

Mr Hammie said that Snapper had been an unsuccessful bidder in the public tender for the Auckland ticketing system but agreed there will be opportunities for other suppliers to be involved in Auckland’s system and that  ARTA is working with all of its operators, including NZ Bus, on this matter.

The NZTA chief executive said his agency was “committed to providing opportunities for multiple private sector providers to be fully engaged in the various technologies that facilitate a functioning integrated ticketing system.

“Our focus will be on maintaining standards, options, choice and competitive tensions to ensure value for money and improvements in the effectiveness of public transport services.

“We’re keen to work with ARTA and Snapper to ensure these initial proposals are compatible with a fully integrated ticketing system across all public transport operators in Auckland”.

“We’re focussed on delivering a national integrated ticketing system to provide better public transport for all New Zealanders, and we’re keen to work closely with everyone who shares that goal.”





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