Integrated Ticketing For RWC2011


Auckland Transport this afternoon revealed that integrated ticketing system- one smart card - is on track for a stage one launch before the Rugby World Cup 2011.
It will be first launched on the NZ Bus’s fleets brand by brand “well before the end of Quarter 1 next year,” NZ Bus CEO Bruce Emson told a media briefing this afternoon.
Auckland Transport CEO David Warburton said it will be ready for use on all trains and ferries (or at least the Devonport ferry) before the RWC.
The interoperator equipment being deployed onto NZ Bus services early next year will be the first use of the new contactless smartcard. which will replace GoRider on the buses- although that process is promised to be seamless.
The name of the card is still being discussed and will be revealed sometime in the first part of next year but Mr Warburton said there would be no public competition for tha name. Names were being tested with focus groups.

Auckland Transport CEO: Announcing integrated ticketing on track

Thales Chief Programmer Mike Spiers gave an assurance that today’s confirmation of a partnership with NZ Bus and the launch details were a “very very positive development” and that the project was absolutely on track.
“Thales has met all delivery deadlines to date. We are now deep into the design stage and you will see installation beginning early January with trenches being dug for the laying of cables.”
He explained that initially for rail there will no gates at platforms but that all platforms would have “validators” and commuters would have to swipe them as they exited.
If anyone evaded the fare the card would remember next time they got on and would extract the fare or a penalty payment may be taken out.
Gates at stations was for a later stage of the project.
Snapper CEO Miki Szikszai told the briefing he was thrilled that Snapper was the forefront of Auckland’s integrated ticketing and would also be working with existing industry partners to incorporate the ability to pay for small retail items as you can at the moment in Wellington (eg at coffee bars and Subway).
NZTA was not present at the briefing but issued a statement pointing out it is funding the development and considers it great news that the card will be ready for early 2011.
Mr Warburton says there was no cost overrun of the project. NZ Bus’ Bruce Emson said there was substantial cost for his company with the installation of the devices which his company had to pay for but he was pleased to be involved in it as it was an important initiative in the Auckland transport market.
Mr Warburton said he hoped other Auckland bus companies - the remaining 25% -would come on board by the RWC but it was up to them.
Discussions were ongoing including with the Airport bus operators.
He said it was too early to talk about rationalisation of zones or the type of tickets you could buy as that was for a later stage of the project.
Greg Ellis from Auckland Transport said they were working on a special deal for those visiting the RWC -such as travel on public transport for 2 to 3 days which they expected would be the average stay in Auckland.
Other deals more aimed at regular Auckland travellers would come later.
Thales’ Mike Spiers , answering questions, said the validators would definitely be on every rail station and 2 ferry points (Devonport, Auckland) by the RWC 2011.




  1. Cam says:

    “Mr Warburton said he hoped other Auckland bus companies – the remaining 25% -would come on board by the RWC but it was up to them” - It’s up to them??? So they might not be on board? Hardly integrated ticketing in that case is it?

  2. Joust says:

    Sounds like good progress. Looking forward to trying it on the bus next year.

  3. Matt says:

    He said it was too early to talk about rationalisation of zones or the type of tickets you could buy as that was for a later stage of the project.

    In other words, we’re getting a stored-value transport card. Until the penalties for transferring are removed, it’s not integrated ticketing. Boo, hiss!

  4. Luke says:

    so we are going to have a ‘dumb’ card it time for the RWC. I guess thats much better than nothing.

    Also they’ve put off the hard questions about zoning until some other day.
    The problem is this will result in an increased subsidy on day1 of operation. The LINK bus will be especially a problem for integrated ticketing I feel. NZ Bus still have plenty of time to cause problems.

  5. Matt says:

    Luke, I think it’s worse than nothing, TBH. Sure multiple tickets for multiple vendors is antiquated, but at least visitors will understand that each vendor is separate. There’re going to be complaints when they get these fancy new smart cards and discover that they still have to pay a new fare every time they transfer.

  6. AKT says:

    @Cam Will anything ever make you guys happy honestly!
    This is great news but no you have to find something in the fine print to moan about. LOL
    Cam- He WANTS like crazy to get them on board by the RWC but he does not have the power to force them. He made it very clear he is trying to persuade them especially airport bus.

  7. Jeff says:

    @All the grumpy people… did you read the article on the state of the network this time last year?

    this is indeed good news, but I’m still a little concerned at the ‘splintering’ that could happen with the inclusion of Snapper.
    Hopefully it’s seamless from a commuter prespective

  8. Andy says:

    It is not worse because the amount of rubbish that is made from those ridiculous bus tickets will be taken down to almost nothing.

  9. Nick R says:

    Ho hum, a big fancy cash card so everyone can still like up at the driver and tell them how many stages they want to go, and still pay all over again if they need to take more than one vehicle for their trip.

    So what is the benefit over cash again?

  10. John Dalley says:

    Any body know if this magical card might also do the Northern motorway tolls at the Puhoi tunnels?

  11. AKT says:

    @John D Not initially but NZTA are heavily involved in the project and so it may be a later stage.

  12. joust says:

    Don’t know what the complainers are upset about, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable update for this stage in the process.

    I’m sure the eventual result will be excellent properly integrated ticketing by the sound of it. Read the article I say.

  13. Kegan says:

    @ Nick R
    “a big fancy cash card so everyone can still like up at the driver and tell them how many stages they want to go”
    It will be tag-on tag-off (& cut out much of the faffing about that goes on with current stored value cards).

  14. Cam says:

    “Cam- He WANTS like crazy to get them on board by the RWC but he does not have the power to force them” - Exactly my point integrated ticketing runs across all providers and all modes and as has been pointed out eliminates the penalties for transfers. This is announcing a stored value card operating on one bus provider which maybe rolled out to others if they agree to it (although it is positive that it will run across rail and ferry). Essentially just what Wellington have with Snapper.

    It’s nice that he wants this to work out, so do i but him wanting it does not mean squat. If PT providers are not compelled to be a part of this scheme then this has the potential to become very mickey mouse indeed. In fact as I mentioned if he can’t convince them to come on board we may not have a fully integrated ticketing system at all.

    We are moaning because all we want is something comparable with overseas systems but in Auckland that just seems to be too difficult. So forgive me for not jumping for joy at what looks like it could be another half arsed outcome for Auckland.

  15. Joe Hendren says:

    I’m with Cam and Nick on this one. Instead of complaining about the complainers, why not address the issues they raise? Personally I did not find Voltaire’s character Candide very credible.

    The comment about not being able to force operators to adopt the new ticketing system is a real concern - has Joyce’s letter to ARTA essentially gutted the PTMA? There is another interpretation though - I actually hope AT use these powers to insist the other bus companies adopt the Thales card instead! In any case this could well be the preferred option for operators concerned at Infratil/NZ Bus/Snapper group dominance.

  16. DanC says:

    Awesome news, hope when all complete it has the same business model as London’s oyster card.

  17. Matt L says:

    There are a few concerns I have, I won’t list them all but my main one is that some things are coming at later stages of the project. In most businesses phase 2 and 3 never happen so while it sounds good now it will be quite easy for them to drop later when no one is watching.

  18. Cam says:

    “I respectfully suggest a few of you should find a girlfriend” - I would but i dont think my wife would like it. Thanks for the tip though William , respectfully.

    As Joe rightly points out that’s a great way to dismiss someone’s point just make a snide comment and ignore it. Then you don’t have to come up with a counter argument.

    Nobody has yet addressed the concerns myself, Nick, Matt and others have raised. Bury your head in the sand if you like but there some worrying signs that this could turn out to be classic Auckland - a day late and a dollar short.

  19. Kel says:

    Why don’t they make a scan in - scan out card so that it just counts the minutes you’re on the bus/trains? Then there’s nothing to worry about, and no hassle for anyone.

  20. Andy says:

    @Kel - And what if there is an accident and what normally takes 20 minutes ends taking an hour. GPS systems work fine.

  21. Swan says:

    Cam is absolutely right. If it is a matter of the individual operators agreeing to the system we will never get there. Obviously they need to buy into the process as much as possible, but at the end of the day if AT doesn’t have the ability to compel them to join then we are stuffed.

  22. Andu says:

    It’s good to be a bit wary of the details, but lets not get too gloomy about things.
    The progress sounds decent to me, obviously still a lot of details to be worked out.
    For me the major one is an appropriate fare/zonal system. It is crucial that they get this right.
    With regards to different operators, in London it took years for all the train operators to come on board and be ‘oysterised’. It wasnt the end of the world, but in the end it was pressure from the mayor, the public and transport for london that got it sorted. Its still not perfect though, some of the oyster extension requirements for national rail companies stations are confusing, and can easily result in commuters being overcharged.

  23. Nick R says:

    I agree Andy, the fare structure is the key thing.

    In my opinion they are going about this process backwards. They should start with a universal zone based fare system that removes the transfer penalty first, using a simple paper ticket.

    This isn’t hard to do, in fact ARTA already did it: one has existed on the busway system for quite some time now.

    All they need to do is roll the Northern Pass out to the other three quarters of the city. Then once the fares are sorted they can worry about streamlining the payment system using a radio frequency card.

    It is good that we are getting this technology in place, and that it will be under one standard across all operators… but can anyone give me one good reason why we couldn’t have the Northern Pass operating across the Auckland region in the next six weeks or so?

    A single stored value card will be useful, but what Auckland really needs is ntegrated fares.

  24. Kel says:

    @ Andy - I was more meaning the scan in and out thing for buses. Trains wouldn’t need the cards to be on a timer because the exit gates in the stations can trace where you entered from. That’s how it works in South Korea anyway. Much better than having to hand over cash to a bus driver! It seems so outdated. NZ and Mexico are the only countries I’ve seen that in.

  25. Andrew says:

    I’m with Nick R on this one, the integrated ticket should be a citywide adaptation of the existing and successful Northern Pass.

  26. Bear in mind the Northern Pass is actually four different pass types - a 2 hour pass, a day pass, a 7 day pass and an after 9am pass. Which Northern Pass would you want to implement city wide?

    As I see it the main constraint in changing the ticketing system would be the revenue risk to the operators in changing the fare structure. There would have to be some kind of fare revenue guarantee scheme (so that they are no better or worse off) to get them on board.

  27. Matt says:

    Cameron, you can handle those with computers. Christchurch does. You buy two hours with the first swipe, and if you swipe again later in the day it will take you to the $4/day “day pass” point.

    This is not hard. $4/day would be low for Auckland, but time-based costless transfers are not novel, or complicated. That needs to be the starting point, because unless transfers carry no cost penalty all we’ve done is go from a multitude of fare cards to a single fare card. That’s not a big improvement in getting people to use public transport, because it’s still expensive to pick the optimal route without having to consider the modes you use.

  28. Well, I know you can do a lot with computers, but I also know that if you have to design a computer system to handle every ticket product known to man then its going to be expensive to implement.

    But, yes the two hour free transfer with a $ cap sounds like the way to go. Point is, has the new integrated ticketing system been designed to handle something like this?

  29. Matt says:

    Cameron, no. It hasn’t been designed to handle anything at this point. All it is is a stored-value card that’s not even accepted by all operators. It’s not really an integrated ticket, in that you have to buy a new fare every time you transfer, just like you do currently. It’s a cash replacement, nothing more.

    Which, IMO, makes it worse than doing nothing, especially if the operators who accept it by RWC2011 remain NZ Bus, rail and ferry. That’ll confuse the hell out of visitors, especially when they discover that stopping in Newmarket on the way to the city so that they can do some shopping will end up costing them more money. We’re going to get slammed for having such a crap ticketing system, I’m almost certain of it, because it’s a half-completed rollout that’s been pushed for RWC. If they let it develop completely, irrespective of RWC, tourists would say “Oh, that’s so quaint, each operator has their own ticket system” and get on with their lives.

  30. greenwelly says:

    @Luke re: “Dumb” cards

    From what has been posted over at snapper and combining it with yesterday’s announcement it would seem the new Auckland card will be anything but dumb

    Last week we took delivery of a very special box of Snapper cards.
    The new Snapper is a SmartMX JCOP (Java Card OpenPlatform) smartcard, powered by an NXP chip, with a huge 72k memory.
    Using JCOP also means that we can add, change or even delete Java applications on the card which will keep cardholders up to date with the latest and greatest applications. We can update the Snapper Applet if we need to
    The new and improved Snapper also includes a 4k mifare emulator

  31. I actually think there is a high likelihood that most tourists will just pay cash.

  32. Greenwelly, I don’t think the core Snapper ePurse functionality is about to be replaced by a java based application, 3 months out from implementation.

  33. Matt says:

    Cameron, maybe, maybe not. Overseas a lot of tourists get the local integrated card because it’s just easier. It’s more convenient than carrying wads of cash, the locals all use them, and there’re usually cost benefits to using them. I’ve got friends who’ve got Octopus cards after a week in HK, for example.

  34. Luke says:

    Whether tourists use it not will depend on the cost of the card, and the ability to get a refund, and the discount available.
    In London I got an oyster card, but that was because it offers a huge discount over cash for the tube, and was able to get a full refund when I returned the card.

  35. Joshua says:

    I wouldn’t be worried at all with some buses not being involved this early, remember with trains and ferries and NZ buses involved, one can almost assume the travel package with the card will include travel on all modes, so if these other companies don’t get involved they will be missing out on alot of revenue. It wouldn’t make business sense to not implement the system before RWC, so I’m pretty confident we will see all major companies involved.

    In terms of fares, although I don’t see it as a major getting appropraite fare structure implemented before RWC, I will restrain my view until I see the tourist travel package they are putting together with it.

  36. nzbcfanboi says:

    I’m guessing the posters wanting the Northern Pass are talking about zones as well as 2 hour 1 day on and off peak (get upper zone for the price of lower) 7 day parts.I would agree with that they can become the main zones with sub zones like Upper and lower with in them Like North Shore,North Rodney,Isthmus,West,East,South. Isthmus would most likely be one zone including the CBD since spiting it nicely is a bit hard and it being a pretty small zone in it self anyway most would be paying a 1 stage fare anyway so they won’t better off or worse off and people living farther out being a little better off but that happens under zone systems I’ve seen.

  37. The mystery deepens! Maybe Snapper are changing the technology for Auckland, three months before announced go-live!

    Snapper cards issued to more than 120,000 Wellingtonians may be withdrawn and replaced with a new type to make them compatible with a system being used in Auckland.

    Snapper Services chief executive Miki Szikszai said it was too early to say whether consumers would be reimbursed if the cards were replaced.

    It was possible new software could be downloaded to existing Snapper cards that would mean they could continue to be used, he said.

    The situation would remain unclear till a new standard for public transport ticketing systems was finalised by the Transport Agency. “Once that standard is set, we’ll be able to provide a categoric answer on that, but not before.”

  38. Nick R says:

    Cam, I mean implement the same fare structure, all of it. 2-hours for short trips, dailies for return trips and weeklies for commuters. This would make it almost identical to the fare structure in Melbourne.

    Fanboi, if you look closely at the Northern Pass it effectively has three zones, the upper zone, lower zone and a defacto city zone.

    This is fine for all of Auckland. You have a city zone in the CBD and the first 5km or so out (out to say Balmoral Rd, Orakei Rd and Western Springs) an inner zone that covers 5-10km out (to Constellation, New Lynn and Otahuhu) and an outer zone that covers everything else from 10km out to Orewa, Pakauranga and Waiheke.

    There might be room for a fourth zone to Huapai, Pukekohe etc, or maybe these regional trips can stay as point-to-point fares (with complementary one-zone pass included at the destination).

    People can buy a one zone, two zones or all zones pass… in 2-hour, daily or weekly levels (maybe monthly and yearly too). Add in one full fare and one concession fare (same price for child, student and pensioner) and that means we need only 18 fare products for all of Auckland (Compare that to the 300 or so that exist currently).

  39. Andy says:

    @Kel - I live in South Korea and I can assure you from using T-money on buses everyday that is not how it works. Buses all have a standard fare but if you transfer your are charged a little extra for every 5km after an initial 10 km. They are all equipped with GPS units and can be tracked in real time even from your mobile phone.

  40. Cam says:

    According to the article by Mathew Dearnaly in this morning’s herald both Ritchies and Howick and Eastern are unlikely to join this scheme by rugby world cup and don’t see any urgency to do so. Also a proper integrated fare structure will not be available until at least 2013.

  41. Joshua says:

    Cam - Thats the shame, I guess the only good point is that it is in the herald. Not always acurate, but still a shame if right.

    But even then, the biggest losers will be the companies themselves.

  42. Luke says:

    How will the other companies lose out on revenue. If you want to go to Howick, Birkenhead or on the Northern Express you dont have a choice of providers.

    Also dont think too many tourists will be flooding the bus network at RWC time, except the LINK.
    All PT to games is free anyway.

    The losers will be commuters who will have to put up with long bus stop dwell times for another couple of years.

  43. Andrew says:

    Luke: “Also dont think too many tourists will be flooding the bus network at RWC time, except the LINK.”

    Apparently it’s not just you - those who decided to double Mangere Bridge and widen the motorway to the Airport also seem to think that RWC tourists are bringing their cars over with them on the plane. I’d love to know how that works…

  44. Luke says:

    the pity is if we had really got our act together we could have had electrification between Kingsland and Britomart. That would have been a great help to RWC.

    my point more was that the average tourist wont be jumping on a bus to Howick or any other outer suburb, therefore the RWC wont be a big push for operators to accept the e-card.

  45. Kel says:

    @ Andy. Yeah, that T-money is a relatively new thing (an excellent thing it is!). I used to have just a bus card there and used them on the smaller maeul buses (마을버스/village buses). I was once told they work on a timer thing. Possibly I was told wrong, or remember wrong, but I wonder if something simple like that could work in Auckland - since the bus system isn’t very extensive….

  46. Andy says:

    @Kel - I would still say that there are far too many factors which could affect one’s travel time. And if you were to mix a time system with a train postion system it just ends up making things more complicated.

    Also, people need and want to know for sure how much they are paying so they can plan financially, not to mention not being able to relax because you keep checking the time if you got stuck in traffic.

  47. [...] Trams are back! 85,000 Here For RWC 2011 Mt Eden awash! Integrated Ticketing For RWC2011 The 21st Century [...]

  48. Joshua says:

    Andrew - Manukau Harbour Crossing (double mangere bridge and widen the motorway) is not the best example. I don’t personally know anyone who was against that including public transport advocates. But if you didn’t travel that route regularly you would not know the pain.

  49. Hi all

    Interesting discussion.

    A clarification on technology. Snapper has effectively moved to Java based cards per our post the other day- we’ve been reading them since Day 1 as part of some of our more advanced form factors (eg the Snapper USB )

    We see Java as a useful platform as it allows for multiple application support.

    As for the DomPost’s article, Mr Pullar Strecker omitted to mention that there is no need to replace existing cards in market if the equipment can handle multiple formats simultaneously. Currently Snapper equipment can support 3 different media formats with more on the way



  50. [...] Rd have been fenced off in preparation for the tag on tag off posts. Gates at stations was for a later stage of the [...]


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