Integrated Ticketing Training Starts


NZ Bus has commenced training for the introduction of integrated ticketing for Auckland public transport.

More than 1,000 drivers have to be trained. Over 80 shops have now signed to accept Snapper for payment and to provide reload services and a car displaying Snapper marketing has been seen around the city in the last few weeks. Snapper will be available from April and installation of the tag on and off machines in buses completed by July.

The Auckland Transport rollout of its own brand of the Thales card will begin in early April.

This will include card wallets, on board bus advertising and information.

The marketing blitz is reportedly a million dollars.

In the last fortnight, Mt Albert and Mt Eden  joined Morningside as stations which now have the ducting and cabling for the tag on tag off readers for the smartcard.

An interesting side effect of the introduction of smart cards was mentioned by Wellington council officials in a discussion on National Radio at the weekend about traffic lights. (hat tip joust).

The authorities are looking at whether the information on a smart card can help determine if buses with lots of passengers can get priority at traffic lights.

Hutt Council’s Wayne King told the programme:

“These days with Snapper cards on the buses, we actually know how many passengers are on board the bus. If the signal controller could gain that information,  it could say ‘this is a bus with 40 passengers on board, that’s actually got slightly more priority than a car in the other direction that has only got two.’

“So there’s quite a bit of work going on that. Can we make decisions based on how important are the people waiting. The best example of that is if the bus is late, and we know how many people are on it, it should give it priority. So a full bus of passengers running late should have a high priority.”

Fascinating stuff.




  1. rtc says:

    Why not just do it the way most places do it and always give buses a higher priorirty…

  2. GJA says:

    They are trying to be too clever.

    How many people are on average in a car, 1, 2, max three in the mornings??

    I agree with rtc, just give buses that are in service, right of way, so timetable can be tighter and more acurate.

  3. james says:

    i think he was just talking hypothetically. The way I understood it was intervention is a pretty rare thing and it would only be needed if they noticed a particular service was full and late (for example). The good thing being they now have more info about the bus’s location and the passenger load to base those decisions on. And it wouldn’t just be to buses directly as priority lights are pretty rare, just shorter waits along the route they need to follow.

  4. Jimmy says:

    Waitakere Station also has the cabling ready for electronic ticketing devices. (In fact I think it may have been the first one).

  5. Rich says:

    It would be an interesting/dreadful assignment for the statisticians (etc.) who would be doing this. The challenge is getting info on cars and car users.

    A PT-only road system for buses and trams (say) could probably have a totally dynamic/real-time based traffic control system with passenger data (onboard and at stations) “driving” the decisions.

  6. Luke says:

    buses will almost always have a higher number of people than a car, so should always be given priority.
    Trying to link in with snapper just complicates things and makes bus priority less likely to happen.

  7. Sam says:

    I caught a north shore bus today- where the driver said Hop (thats what he called it), would be in operation there on March 13. Apparently there will be staff at bus stops handing out free Hop cards, whilst hole punching go-rider cards as to stop anyone getting multiple Hops.

    This strategy makes sense, as they get a pretty fast market saturation before their competition (Snapper) even comes on the market.

    The driver didn’t know anything about whats happening with Snapper… didn’t even know if they were still going through with it.

  8. Luke says:

    @sam is this a ritchies/northern express or a north star service?

  9. Kegan says:

    “This strategy makes sense, as they get a pretty fast market saturation before their competition (Snapper) even comes on the market. ”

    There will be only one brand of smartcard in Auckland - Snapper is not the competition, it is part of the solution (supplying fare computers & readers to NZ Bus plus retail terminals).

    From AT’s December press release:

    Interoperable equipment will be deployed onto services run by NZ Bus early next year. Customers of North Star, Waka Pacific, Go West, Metrolink and LINK will use a contactless smartcard which will launch Auckland Transport’s Integrated Ticketing brand.

  10. Sam says:

    @ Luke - this was a North Star service.

    @Kegan - Thanks…somehow missed that! so does that mean there will be no actual snapper cards in use by Aucklanders? Will They just be running the bus infrastructure/ some top-up infrastructure for a small fee or something?

  11. JCNZ says:

    On a total side note, that picture in this post - have they used asphalt-like material to fill in the ground? That just looks untidy.

  12. mark says:

    “On a total side note, that picture in this post – have they used asphalt-like material to fill in the ground? That just looks untidy.”

    Typical lowest-bid contractor quality.


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