Brown hops on to train

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 08:11 02/11/2012
Len Brown
HOP ON: Mayor Len Brown uses his new HOP card for the first time before jumping on the train from Manukau to Britomart.

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Mayor Len Brown celebrated the super-city's second anniversary by using the new HOP integrated ticketing system for the first time yesterday.

The HOP system will eventually allow people to transfer between trains, ferries and buses seamlessly without having to buy separate tickets.

The first stage allows the swipe cards to be used on trains so Mr Brown tested the system by catching the train from the new Manukau station to work in the city.

It's a journey he tries to make once or twice a week.

He says it's "synergistic" that the first day he used the new system coincided with the Auckland Council's second birthday.

"There's been a lot of big gains," he says.

The introduction of the HOP system is one achievement, along with pulling together several different rating systems into one and hosting a successful Rugby World Cup, he says.

The introduction of the HOP system has been pretty smooth, despite some complaints about the time it takes for money uploaded to appear on commuters' prepaid accounts, he says.

"If there are problems I get a pretty heavy inbox."

He is predicting the system will increase revenue on public transport by 10 to 20 per cent because of an expected drop in fare evasion.

And even though it is now less than a year to the next local body election with no opponent for his job in sight, Mr Brown says it is business as usual at the town hall.

"It's very easy to take your eye off the ball. My job is to keep focus on the key issues.

"I'm loving it."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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