Hop's a step away for Wellingtonians

FRANCES COOK
Last updated 05:00 12/05/2011

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The Wellingtonian

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Wellington public transport users have been left wondering when they will get an integrated ticket system, with the recent unveiling of Auckland's new Hop card.

The smart card will be used on all Auckland buses, trains and ferries by the end of the year, making Auckland the first region with integrated ticketing.

Snapper chief executive Miki Szikszai emphasised the new cards were a "Hop card with a Snapper logo", and therefore fully compatible with other Snapper systems.

Hop cards were used in Auckland for brand reasons, but visitors to the area would find their Snapper smart cards gave the same discounted travel, Mr Szikszai said.

David Lewry, Wellington Regional council's major projects leader, said the council was aware of demand and was investigating integrated ticketing options.

However, such a ticketing system could be complex to set up and there was not a specific timeline in place for Wellington.

"You would measure it in years rather than months, but we're not talking decades," Mr Lewry said. "We will be learning from what Auckland is doing."

The regional council would develop its own integrated ticket system for Wellington which would be compatible with Snapper, rather than being provided by the company, Mr Lewry said.

"Snapper is an established, well-used system, so we would be looking to develop something to integrate with that."

However, Mr Szikszai said Snapper was already working on an integrated ticket system similar to Auckland's Hop for the Wellington region.

"We're very keen to do that, [but] obviously we have to work with the train and ferry operators."

Snapper was already used on Go Wellington buses, and was currently being trialled on some Wellington ferries, Mr Szikszai said.

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- The Wellingtonian

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