Integrated ticketing back on the cards

JIM CHIPP
Last updated 09:31 20/09/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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Wellington Regional Council officers will begin investigating an integrated electronic ticket system for Wellington early next year, the council's economic wellbeing committee heard last Thursday.

The same electronic ticket would be able to be used for travel on buses, trains and ferries.

Despite being bundled out of a similar project in Auckland, Snapper was still in the Wellington frame, committee chairman Peter Glensor said.

The regional council has budgeted $39 million for the ticket system, but the project was stalled by the Auckland work.

NZ Transport Agency is expected to part-fund a new system, but wanted the Auckland system working first, and tickets elsewhere in New Zealand to be compatible.

French company Thales provided the technology for Auckland, and Snapper was to supply tickets and readers for buses.

However, Auckland Transport terminated its agreement with Snapper in August, questioning whether Snapper could modify its system to comply with the Thales technology soon enough. The contract was instead awarded to Thales.

Snapper's dumping from the Auckland project did not mean it was unable to deliver a system that met the NZ Transport Agency demands, Mr Glensor said.

"It just means there has been a judgment that they will not meet the specification by November."

Snapper chief executive Miki Szikszai said his company met all the milestones in Auckland.

"We were very clear that we had a system that could integrate, but the [Thales] system wasn't there."

 

WORTH $40 MILLION?

The Wellingtonian asked Wellington Regional Council's Metlink projects and planning manager Tass Larsen whether enough Wellingtonians avoided paying fares to justify a $39 million ticket system.

Ms Larsen said honesty systems, combined with inspectors and robust fines, worked well in Germany, but there were differences in New Zealand.

"In Germany people have an ID card," she said. "When a revenue protection officer [ticket inspector] asks, if you don't have a ticket, they have the power to require you to show your ID card."

In New Zealand, passengers who could not show a valid ticket could be ordered off the bus or train, but prosecution was difficult if they could not be reliably identified.

"We don't have police powers to get people's identity, and people are not required to carry identification," she said.  A single ticket for all Wellington public transport is on the way.

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- The Wellingtonian

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