Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


CityLink buses to move to smart cards

CityLink buses to move to smart cards

Whangarei’s CityLink public buses will move to contactless smart cards from early March in a bid to offer passengers a faster, more convenient service.

While passengers will still be able to use cash on board the buses to pay for individual trips under the new regime, the CityLink/Snapper smart card system will replace the existing, paper-based 10-trip concession cards.

The Northland Regional Council (which provides the service through current operator Ritchies Transport Holdings Ltd) says the company which had previously owned the distinctive green bus fleet had fitted it with most of the necessary equipment but the smart cards themselves had never been rolled out.

Sharlene Selkirk, the regional council’s Public Passenger Transport Officer, says the system had recently been updated and customised for Whangarei’s needs at little additional cost to ratepayers, other than a $20,000 initial outlay to provide current users with a free smart card.

“Everything possible is being done to ensure a smooth transition, but the change – which will officially take effect Monday 03 March – will obviously require some adjustments, especially for the 1000 or so known regular concession ticket users.”

Mrs Selkirk says advantages of the new prepaid smart cards include faster loading of buses and quicker, more accurate transfers between routes. (This is expected to be especially popular among school students who travel across multiple bus routes.)

Other benefits include administrative efficiencies and a clearer picture of demand to assist officials in future planning. There will also be less cash carried on board, reducing potential security risks.

Mrs Selkirk says SuperGold Card holders will not be affected by the changes and can still use their cards for free travel, while other passengers can still use cash aboard buses to pay for individual trips. Passengers with existing 10-trip concession cards can use them for travel up to and including Saturday 31 May.

However, one of the biggest changes for concession ticket users is that the smart cards will not (subs: crrct, not) be able to be purchased on board buses when the system comes on line. At the same time early next month, new sales of the current paper-based concession cards will cease.

Mrs Selkirk says the smart card company is currently finalising – and expects to release details shortly – of a network of several local retailers who will be able to sell and top up the new cards. This service will also be available from the regional council’s Water St offices.

“Another top-up option is a Snapper ‘feeder’ which allows passengers to carry out their own credit card top-ups through their home computer. Normally sold for $25, these feeders are being offered at a special introductory price of just $10 during March. For those who have an Android smartphone with near field communication (NFC), you can download the free Snapper Mobile app from Google Play to check the real-time balance and top up any CityLink/Snapper card on the go.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Selkirk says one of the other main differences for users from March will be the need to both ‘tag on’ when they climb on board a bus and ‘tag off’ again when they leave it by holding their Snapper card to the reader by the front or back door.

“This allows the correct fare and discount to be calculated and also provides an up-to-date balance,” says Mrs Selkirk. “It’s also important to remember that Snapper cards also need to be held still at the reader, rather than just waved or swiped.”

Mrs Selkirk says while approximately 1000 free cards will be provided to regular concession users during the changeover period, any subsequent new or replacement cards will cost passengers $12 each.

She says holders of existing paper-based concession tickets are being asked to bring them to the Rose Street bus terminus on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 February to be issued with their own smart card.

“We estimate that we’ll need to swap over more than 1000 cards and obviously it makes sense for all parties if we can get as many of these done as possible within those two days. We’ll be on site at Rose St from 6am until 6pm both days but for those who can’t make it, will make provision for some changeovers at the regional council during March.”

She says a range of information on the change, including frequently-asked questions, is expected to be posted from Monday 17 February (subs: crrct, Mon 17 Feb) on the CityLink website via: www.citylinkwhangarei.co.nz It will include information on how users can register their cards to help protect their remaining prepaid balance in the event that the card is lost or stolen.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news