Other Bus Companies Confirm They’ll HOP


Five more bus companies have confirmed they will offer the HOP card but it won’t happen to almost a year away.

The companies are Ritchie’s Transport, Howick and Eastern Buses, Birkenhead Transport, Urban Express and Bayes Coachlines.

NZ Bus piggybacks on its Snapper system so these companies will await the integrated system proper which will come into effect around the end of next year bringing in trains and ferries.

Last month Auckland Transport awarded the tender to supply those smartcards for the full stage roll out to a joint consortium comprising Placard and NZ Post and said then the full stage roll-out of HOP will add trains, ferries and all bus operators to the mix.

For the five bus operators, the delivery of the equipment won’t commence until mid next year. Andrew Ritchie of Richies the 5 came together to choose a single supplier to our businesses with an effective hardware solution.

Auckland says 85,000 Go Rider users have swapped to HOP.

NORTHERN EXPRESS: Everyone is getting on board for HOP

Starting next month Auckland Transport will be undertaking an extended field trial of the system utilising selected users saying “this type of closed pilot follows international best practice for the introduction of a new public transport ticketing system.”




  1. James Pole says:

    Interesting I know that Air Bus have gone with Snapper. Looks like that NZ Bus and Air Bus will be using Snapper with the others going with a different vendor. Good to see some diversity instead of everyone going with Snapper!

  2. Matt L says:

    James - air bus is run by NZbus so I would have been surprised if they didn’t use snapper

  3. JCNZ says:

    Good to see all the bus companies officially announcing they will be coming onboard. I’m sick of my paper cardboard ticket. If only this whole thing would happen a bit faster! Any idea when this whole system is supposed to implemented/completed?

  4. Jon C says:

    @JCNZ Around this time next year! Everything in Auckland seems to take forever…

  5. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    Matt L, are you sure AirBusExpress is run by NZBus? From what I know they’re not related… AirBusExpress is operated by Johnston’s Coachlines that are associated with NakedBus, and Grayline, but not with NZBus or Infratil??… Correct me if I’m wrong?

  6. Jon C says:

    @Stranded on the North Shore @MattL

    A press release a few months ago quoted Gary Fitzsimons, General Manager of Airbus Express, saying:

    “Airbus Express is 100% independent and privately owned and we have invested over $5 million in fleet and service improvements in the past 3 years and continue to improve on our customer offerings.”

  7. ingolfson says:

    It does feel more like crawl than hop…

    Hopefully at least this way they will have fewer glitches. They certainly have the time for testing.

  8. James B says:

    Will that be every bus, train and ferry will be on hop?

    In Tokyo they have two systems that are interchangeable. It seems to work on for them.

  9. pete says:

    So these 5 operators will have new systems that will take Hop card but not be snapper based? If so, who is the extra supplier being added into the mix?

  10. Feijoa says:

    @pete: Parkeon

  11. Matt L says:

    pete - all equipment has to comply to with a national standard that the NZTA have developed so everything should work fine together and in may ways it will be much like Eftpos where there are a number of different suppliers but they all work with any Eftpos card.

    Also once the system is up and running there should hopefully not be any new Snapper cards issued. NZbus rolled out the backend Snapper system as an interim measure until the real system goes online (although there has been suggestions that Snapper are trying to make it more permanent).

  12. pete says:

    @Feijoa - thanks

    @Matt - that I assumed that the NZTA standard would be met but was interested to know who might get it if the other operators were not going down the Snapper / NZ Bus system.
    I had a very brief chat with a man in the snapper office here in WLG earlier this year, who seemed to be taking a similar view to your last sentence. You can´t blame them for wanting to try and get a slice of the action despite Thales winning the tender. I just hope the GWRC get a move on despite not offering any time frame on their integrated ticketing solution in their latest transport strategy.

  13. tokyo says:

    @James B
    That did not happen until march 18 2007. the suica was Launched in November 2001

  14. Matt L says:

    pete - I was more commenting on your point about adding a new player to the mix.

    The other companies were never going to use the Snapper system. There was to much risk that NZbus would then have access to all of their fare/trip data and would be able to use it to win contracts off them.

    As for Wellington, they are just watching and waiting to see the outcome of the Auckland project before they do anything so don’t expect something to happen any time soon.

  15. pete says:

    @Matt L - good point on the route and fare data and sharing it with NZ Bus

  16. Kris says:

    This is going to be interesting to see what happens with HOP when Mastercard International ‘tap & go’ PayPass system is finally rolled out from 11 Jan 12.

    If you have an Mastercard credit, debit or prepaid card, you will be receiving a replacement card that is ‘PayPass’ enabled.

    Mastercard International has instructed all its NZ based franchised card issuers to replace all NZ based Mastercard cards with ‘PayPass’ cards by 31 Dec 11.

    Air NZ has released its Airpoints ONESMART reloadable debit Mastercard card that is both chipped & ‘PayPass’ enabled and all Airpoints members should have their new Airpoints card by 31 Dec 11.

    With the Airpoints ONESMART Mastercard, you receive Airpoints $ for every purchase using the card.

    I wonder if HOP’s software is compatible to Mastercard’s ‘PayPass’.

    If it is, then you will be able to earn Airpoints $ every time you travel on a bus, train or ferry in Auckland.

    If it is not, then there is another shortsighted expensive problem looming.

  17. Andrew J says:

    @ Matt L

    Airbus Express is a business unit of Johnstons Coachlines. Nothing to do with NZ Bus whatsoever.


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