Caught on the Hop
There are fears Auckland's new transport ticketing system is facing bugs of "Novopay proportions" and Shore politicians are calling for a fuller investigation.
Auckland Transport says the AT Hop card roll-out for Ritchies and Northern Express services has been delayed.
The new system was set to go live on North Shore buses on September 8.
"Unfortunately an intermittent technical issue has been identified, which we are working to resolve. We apologise for this temporary delay in the roll-out of AT Hop on to your bus service.
"Please continue to travel using existing cards, tickets and passes until further notice," the agency says.
The delay comes after news fares for some would increase under the new system, with tertiary students and the disabled bearing the brunt.
Politicians are now calling for a review.
Albany ward councillor Wayne Walker says the changes are a "complete surprise".
"It's unfair, especially as Auckland Transport is penalising students and the disabled."
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby says "things are far from rosy with the AT Hop roll-out".
"Gremlins appear to be hiding in this much anticipated smartcard roll-out. AT needs to make it crystal clear now that this is not of Novopay proportions."
Ferry users also face hiked prices, something Mr Darby says shows a lack of transparency. Auckland Transport should use the delay period to relook at pricing, he says.
Kaipatiki Local Board chairwoman Lindsay Waugh says fare hikes will turn transport users away, especially young people who Auckland Council cannot afford to lose.
Ms Waugh and Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Margaret Miles both support a fare review.
"I don't think it's acceptable to put this sort of burden on a student," Mrs Miles says.
Auckland Transport has not thought through the implications, she says.
Alex van der Sande, who created the Long Live the Northern Bus Pass Facebook page, is taking student concerns to the council's transport committee. The page creates awareness over fare changes and the phasing out of the Northern Pass.
"I am sure that many people are inconvenienced [by the delay] as they were preparing to make the switch. Despite the ‘apologies' AT is making about the delay, students are rejoicing in the fact that we will be able to enjoy the Northern Pass a while longer."
Julia Parfitt, Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman, will accompany Alex to the meeting.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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