Full Steam Ahead On Electronic Ticketing
07 December, 2009
Snapper Continuing Full
Steam Ahead On Electronic Ticketing In Auckland
But Happy To Work Closely With NZTA
Snapper Services Ltd moved today to clear up apparent confusion about emerging competition to introduce electronic ticketing for public transport in Auckland, with the objective of having integrated ticketing on most Auckland public transport by the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Snapper chairman Paul Ridley-Smith says the company is very serious about the major Auckland market and has never made any secret about its intention to be a major player, having invested significantly in building its Snapper operation.
“We are by far the biggest player in this field, with a proven, accurate system in place in Wellington which has successfully handled 15 million transactions in a little over the year. Naturally we want to roll that out nationally, in a way that is compatible with agreed national standards, but we are so far ahead of the game, that no national standards yet exist.
“We expect to make a contribution in determining those standards, because it is in everyone’s interests for every participant supplying cards, computer software or card reading equipment to meet those standards, so that all cards can be accepted throughout New Zealand. Multiple suppliers meeting a national need, is the most likely way things will develop, and today’s announcement by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority makes no difference to this vision.”
The Snapper system is now fully proven, with a third of Wellington commuters already carrying a Snapper card and the numbers growing daily. The technology we are using handles 30 million transactions on buses, trains, and ferries in Seoul every day, and has been modified for New Zealand use.
“More recently we have been saying to ARTA – “Look, we have developed a successful system using our own money, and we can accommodate all Auckland’s needs on this system without ratepayers and taxpayers spending tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure, or running the risk of cost overruns or delays (which in Sydney and Melbourne are now hundreds of millions of dollars and years of delay).
“Why ARTA wants to persevere with building a duplicate system, now revealed as costing Auckland ratepayers and central Government $47 million plus undisclosed annual operating costs (previously budgeted at $65 million over 10 years) plus undisclosed equipment costs to the operators, when it is also looking for ways of cutting public expenditure on public transport, is a question only they can answer. We had previously offered to provide everything they want more quickly, far more cheaply and with far less risk, using the proven and available Snapper system.
“ Our announcement last week that NZ Bus will use our system will make electronic ticketing available for more than half of all public transport trips in Auckland before kick-off – we have got Auckland off to a flying start, and we are very happy to work with ARTA to get integrated ticketing across all public transport forms by then.
“Integrated ticketing is a key Auckland public transport objective. So far, we’ve done more to make it a reality than anyone, and we would like to keep that momentum going and help give Auckland the public transport system it deserves. No one player will provide every component of it, either in Auckland or nationally, and Snapper will certainly work with other participants to help ensure compatibility.”