HOP Needs To Jump Elsewhere


When integrated ticketing was at last seriously mooted, some of us had a dream we could use the one card around the country for public transport.

That is still the plan - but I wonder why other cities are taking such a long time to contemplate the matter now Auckland Transport is actively introducing its HOP service - the first stage from tomorrow morning on North Star buses.

Wellington continues to drag the chain.

In a newsletter to KiwiRail staff, readers are told: “Integrated ticketing will probably be introduced within five years, but Wellington was waiting to see how the concept is implemented in Auckland before proceeding.”

Back in February, a report to a Greater Wellington regional council meeting said – as we know – NZTA is taking a national approach to integrated ticketing with this featuring access to a centralised management system, and includes the development of national standards for integrated ticketing (known as NITIS).

But it adds:

“However, it does not extend to plans for a national ticketing scheme (i.e. the ability to use the same transit card in more than one region).”

In fact the Wellington council – despite the scramble to do everything else in time for the RWC 2011 -has no plans at the moment for the single card and it may be several years before Wellington gets it. In fact in 2009 the scope of Greater Wellington’s integrated ticketing project was reconfirmed as “rail only, with capability for extension to bus at a later stage” and in Wellington, of course,  NZ Bus’ Snapper card rules.

It’s especially a shame considering Wellington’s geography which sees Wellington train passengers more than Aucklanders swap to using buses including some who will arrive into the CBD by train.

So even on the eve of Auckland’s HOP card, the council has decided to sit back and watch what happens in Auckland.

Wellington people have to wait for integrated ticketing

Wellington has finally got the bus real time information signs we have (which are of mixed blessing as they often don’t work well).

The first phase of the Wellington RTI project was publicly launched on  March 31 with Go Wellington bus services, the first display signs and RTI available via the Metlink website (and its corresponding mobile version).  There were some initial issues with the capacity of the Metlink website and the poor visibility in bright conditions of  the summary display sign at Lambton interchange has been improved by relocating the sign to an internal wall.

Phase 2 extension of RTI is to Valley Flyer bus services, and pre-installation works in buses are progressing in line with the scheduled introduction of RTI for Valley Flyer from the end of May.  Mana Newlands bus services are then planned to follow from the end of October. Display signs are arriving in quantity and will begin to be installed in Wellington urban area during May, with the full installation schedule taking nearly 12 months.

And RTI for Wellington rail? Discussions continue with KiwiRail for sometime next year.





  1. Matt says:

    Got on a Newlands bus yesterday behind a woman trying to use her Wellington/Not Auckland Snapper Card only to be told she couldn’t use it, as she needed a Newlands/Mana Card. I quote “That’s just dumb” and so it is.

    5 years???? GWRC - Greatly Wasting Resources and Capital.

    I sometimes use the Metlink Trains, sometimes the Capital Connection (which has different ticketing), often the Newlands/Mana buses, and on occasion the Wellington buses and the Palmerston North buses, and sometimes I’m in Auckland. It would make it fantastic if there was a nationally implemented integrated single card scheme.

  2. Matt L says:

    I think there is a little merit in waiting to see the outcome in Auckland as they can see what works well and what doesn’t to hopefully avoid the same mistakes that are bound to be occuring behind the scenes. In saying that waiting 5 years to see it seems far to long.

  3. Luke says:

    thats the real issue with Snapper, only used on NZ bus serivces. Is lucky that they virtually have a monopoly!
    however Mana Coach is only half owned by NZ bus, so they dont use Snapper.

  4. Martin says:

    Hopefully Auckland introduces a zonal fare similar like London. This would negate the ability to use the same card nationally though (not a big loss TBH).

  5. mark says:

    Martin, why would it do that??? There seems to be no binding reason at all - unless all you could store on the card would be zone trips, which is not going to be the case. You will still (be able to) store money.

  6. Martin says:

    @ Mark

    Variations in ticket price, ala seasonal, wouldn’t work outside of the metropolitan areas they are designed for unless Kiwirail, NZ Bus, every other bus/coach operator, Wellington Council(s), other regional/city councils and Violia all agree on a set fee/operating scheme. I really cant see that. If Continental Europe is unable to do it, NZ hasn’t got a hope.

  7. max says:

    Martin, as long as there is a simple money balance on the card, every Council can keep whatever peculiarities they have in their fare structure.

    Free journeys on Tuesdays that are also divisible by 3. 30% off if you board at a less-used stop. Whatever.

    It’s only a matter of deducting X from Y. Can’t see why that should be a problem. You might get charged something different from what you are used to, but that would be it.


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