Train Tag Posts Arrive


Here is what the HOP Train tag posts look like.
Reader Jym spotted one at Morningside so I went and had a close look.




  1. Sam says:

    hope theres many of these at larger stations. I went through Papatoetoe on thursday PM peak and there were probably over 100 people on the platform as there was a train in the other direction stopped there too.

    Are these going to be placed at the entrances of bigger stations? they would be more convenient and far more visible than something right in the middle that everyone has to converge upon

    And does anyone know if Hop will be launched properly on trains before the world cup still? Also, Will Newmarket and Britomart have turnstiles upon Launch, or will they get temporary tag on posts instead? (which knowing Auckland would probably mean they’re around pretty long term!)

  2. Matt L says:

    I have noticed them at Mt Eden, Morningside, Mt Albert and today I noticed they installed them at Sturges Rd (and probably a few others).

    Thales said the other day at the CBT meeting that they are pretty tough and it would take a lot of force and time to break into them. Also the actual readers won’t appear in them till just before the RWC where they will be used for a special daily pass ticket.

    We probably won’t be using them for regular commuter trips till November unfortunately.

    Sam - They are putting these posts at every entrance, at Sturges Rd for example where there is 5 entrances to the platforms there are 5 tag posts, at Platforms like Mt Eden where their are only 2 entrances there are only 2 posts. Thales have said these machines can read the smart cards in about 0.3 seconds and can do so through clothing/bags/wallets etc so it should be pretty quick for people to get through them.

  3. Joust says:

    Nice. Very promising signs.

  4. Simon says:

    Thales guy also said that there will be gates at both Britomart and Newmarket with quite a number of card readers so there shouldn`t be long queues waiting to tag on or off. Also there will be a wide lane gate for paper ticket holders and disabled passengers that will be staffed.

  5. Kiran says:

    How will they know if I tagged my card before i boarded the train?

  6. Matt L says:

    Kiran - There will be some staff that have hand held scanners who will do random checks, the scanner will tell them if the card has been tagged on. Because they would be just scanning and not collecting money they could move through a carriage pretty quickly.

    Also as most destinations are Britomart or Newmarket, having gates at those stations means most people would be forced to pass through a gate at some point in their journey and the gates are smart enough to register what direction someone has come from.

  7. Feijoa says:

    If they’re only going to do random checks, what will the fine be for not touching in? Will the conductors have some means of authority to enforce this?

  8. Carl says:

    guys its really simple, if you don’t “tag on” next time you get off the train and tag on or whatever, you should get charged a full zonal default fare.

    (thats what happens in perth) we have full time train guards as well, I do hope this happens in Auckland on two accounts:

    1. its train security & revenue protection
    2. it keeps people employed.

    I do hope the gates arrive soon.

    the tag on tag off gates are great, always have a space for people who are wheelchair bound and have to go through, or have paper tickets.

    again someone will have to be at the station or on board.

    again more people in jobs because of this, and hopefully the stations will also get top machines.

    here at some major stations, you can top up with cash (min $10) or via eftpos.

    there is nothing to worry about, its a really really easy system to use, and once you start using you wont forget to tag on or off, trust me, if they make the fines as same as aussie (about $150 a pop if you get caught no ifs or buts, first time and everytime) you wont forget in a hurry. and because they can track a record of your movements, if you have been fined before, you will most def not get away with it.

    I think once the system is up and running and people understand its use, then and then only is fair to start hitting people with fines who don’t have a ticket or haven’t tag on when holding a hop card.

    trust me guys, it sucks if you get fine (its happened to me)

    but you do learn pretty quick.

    also over here if you get a train fine and fail to pay it and it gets serious and you have to go to court (and you don’t show up) they can actually pull your Drivers licence off you.

    they drum it hard here in Perth and not many people actually try and fare evade!

  9. Matt L says:

    Feijoa - Currently the law only allows for people to be kicked off the train which means AT couldn’t legally fine you however apparently the NZTA are working on this with the aim of getting that law changed.

    Carl - Yes if you tag on but not off then you will get charged a full fare. The machines should be here later in the year and all stations will have at least one top up machine, with some having more (I believe the aim is for at least one machine per platform).

    Apparently there will be different kinds of top up machines with some having cash, eftpos and mabye credit while others will only have eftpos and credit. I got the impression that there would be at least one machine with all options at stations and that at stations with side platforms it would most likely be on the peak direction platform.

  10. richard says:

    How will the Gold and V Card’s work with the new system, or will it be necessary to get an ordinary Nil ticket from the staff?

  11. Martin says:

    I have a feeling that with the intoduction of a decent ticketing system there will be a slight drop in rail patronage as those who take “freebees” will drop off; while conversly there will be an upturn in revenue generated.

  12. Jacky says:

    wonder what will be the final product of the actual machine.. haha

  13. Geoff says:

    Why do they want readers on the platforms? Wouldn’t it be easier to have them at each carriage door instead, like on the buses? All you have to do is walk past, there’s no need to stop.

  14. Pete says:

    Geoff - Readers on every door of a train will slow down boarding (and the amount of readers per train and linking it to the back end of the system add up as well) so station readers are a very good idea.

  15. George D says:

    What’s the story with topping up? Machines on platforms are the standard in Australia - I certainly hope that’s what’s planned here.

  16. LucyJH says:

    AT are promising that Hop will be available on trains and ferries BEFORE The RWC. However, I don’t think they expect to have all buses onto the system by then.

  17. Andy says:

    I was hoping there would two readers on one post to process more people but I guess not. Curious to see how this will affect the ones who are always late for the train because now they will have to make sure they tap their card first before they leap on board!
    Nevertheless happy to see progress.

  18. Steve says:

    As well as the identifiable guards etc that the operators will use, AT should be looking at having some plain clothes ‘rovers’ doing random checks on compliance like they do in Berlin to make it not worth the risk of being stung with fare evasion penalty or ban

  19. greenwelly says:

    Not sure about the “fins” or Vents on each side, and the fan visible through the clear sheet is also a worry, it tends to imply the internals of these things generate a fair amount of heat (In the scale of things electronic)
    Heat needs to either be vented or radiated away,

    Having vents or gaps may allow heat out, but it also allows moisture in, either atmospheric (humid air, rain) or other forms of vadalistic moisture I will leave as an exercise for the reader.

  20. Carl says:

    have any of you actually bothered to think its not ready yet?

    as in not a 100% finished.

    Geoff - are you for real? did you not think that, that would actually totally hold the train right up.

    the posts are placed at the end of the platform so by the time you walk and get out your wallet or whatever, the person in front of you has done the same thing?

    if you had it on the train, it just cause utter chaos and is also really dangerous.

    away from the train and clear of the doors. I good train service runs on quick stops, people off, people on, shut the doors, leave…

    not fluffing around trying to tag in both directions on the train set!

    Andy - why would it do things to people who are late?

    you don’t have to the take card out of your wallet or purse, you just swipe it pass it.

    done this many times on the run myself.

    two readers on one post wont work either, because they can conflict with either other, as in you may tag on, but you also may end up being tagged off straight away by the next one.

    no station or line in the world I have been on has two on one post.

    the automatic gates are the best, walk though, slap it down, gates open.

    greenwelly - I’m pretty sure the person who designed has it made it for a reason like that.

    every type of product like this spends years in R & D before it hits the real world, trust me I study product design there is a reason for the way its designed and I’m pretty sure these types of devices have been around for 30 years, its nothing new.

    most of the posts used at other stations around the world, the chip part has a protective water proof coating around it on the inside, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean its not there.

    and as for tagging or graff, boo hoo, its going to happen.

    hence why there needs to be CCTV loops and train guards

    here in Perth, train guards now have the same arresting power (on public transport property) as police.

    they can stop and search you for spray cans, maker pens, drugs, booze (clearly the list applies if you have been caught on camera)

    Open Booze on the train here is an instant $200 fine for the Train, plus if you get handed over to the cops, you get a drinking in pubic fine on top of it.

    I’m sure once the CCTV loops are setup, the ticket posts are up, we will see some sort of train guard or officer in place at station.

    this is where the maori wardens should play a good role.

  21. Andy says:

    Carl - Once again, I have no idea why you are ‘arguing’ everything again. I was in no way criticizing the system. I also catch the subway every day running through with my card. I was simply saying it’s going to be a new thing for people. That’s all.

    Also, over here we have 2 reader posts which do not conflict with each other.

    I am happy with everything that is happening!

  22. Tristan says:

    guys its really simple, if you don’t “tag on” next time you get off the train and tag on or whatever, you should get charged a full zonal default fare.

    Sorry Carl, I don’t get it.

    If I don’t swipe my card when I get on the train at Britomart, then don’t swipe it when I get to my destination, I’ll be getting a free ride.

    If I get randomly chosen I’ll pull out cash or my ten trip.

    I guess if they checked everyone on board the train this would work.

  23. Matt L says:

    Tristan - It wouldn’t work that way, if you are paying cash you would have to do so before boarding as their will be machines to buy a paper ticket and you would have to present that to the person checking. If 10 trips are still around, then that would be done by your smart card so their wouldn’t be a paper version of it.

    Also you wouldn’t be able to avoid tagging on or off at Britomart or Newmarket as both stations will have electronic gates which means you won’t be able to pass without having tagged first.

  24. Scott says:

    Tristan, as Matt has said the current ticketing system will be completely replaced. The train staff will no longer carry cash of clippers. Instead they will carry portable “hop” readers. Trips involving Britomart or Newmarket will see very little fare evasion as it will require jumping the gates (which are presumably watched, and electronically monitored).

    If you are traveling between two non gated stations it will be possible to evade as you have described,, however it is likely the train staff will often check people after they got on. If you cannot prove you will be kicked off the train at the next station, not a very heavy penalty if checks are only occasional.

    The only tools available discourage evasion is the ability to kick people or the train, or to present a full trespass notice. I think a fine would be better than a trespass notice, if the govt will change the law.

  25. Matt L says:

    Scott - The NZTA are apparently looking at that issue of changing the law right now so it is quite likely that we will see fines able to be issued in the future.

  26. Carl says:

    Scott - you wont be kicked off the train to buy a ticket you’ll be fined.

    what is the point of paying for guards wardens or ticket checkers if you just going to kick someone off?

    if your a fare evading (once the system is fully set up, which maybe in a years time) then your fare evading and you’ll get fined.

    This why I hope the outlining stations in the furthest areas are not held up with getting hop for more than a year.

    otherwise the system is always going to fail.

    nothing wrong with buying a paper ticket, but honestly its should be sorted very quickly that the system can get hop in.

    Stations at the end of all lines should have gates, because its these places where people will not buy a full ticket.

    and trust me guys, it happened here for 5 months when they opened a new line in Perth, and figured out that a lot of people worked out that the station they got on at and one before the “city” didn’t have gates so they could run the risk of not getting a fine.

    fines need to be, correct, heavy and all the time.

    if its some little old lady or a mother with kids they might get a warning, but anyone else, hit them hard.

    it also needs to be followed up with clear signage at all stations and staff members need to be super helpful.

    the ticketing / top up machines also need to be super easy to use. Biggest problem I have seen is people getting worried about trying to buy a ticket and not understanding what to do then getting frustrated and giving up.

    easy for more people = better PT

  27. Bryan says:

    At Ranui there are four posts on the city-bound platform, two either side of the shelter. This puts them about a quarter of the way down the platform.

    Those who like to ride the last carriage, so they can be first off at Britomart, are just going to have to get used to walking an extra 80m up and down the platform just to tag on. :-) Perhaps a scanner near the crossing would be useful for those running to catch the train…

  28. Ingolfson says:

    “What’s the story with topping up? Machines on platforms are the standard in Australia – I certainly hope that’s what’s planned here.”

    I think I saw machines at Britomart today which looked like they could be used to top up…

    But really, why won’t people not just do it online?


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