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Snapper running at full throttle for Auckland Transport

Snapper running at full throttle to support Auckland Transport

Wellington, 17 May 2011.

Today Snapper steps up the pace in the Auckland region, and reveals some of the activity that is supporting the first phase of Auckland Transport’s Integrated Ticketing Programme - Hop.

Snapper and Hop powering up together.
Snapper CEO, Miki Szikszai, says “Snapper’s expertise in ticketing equipment, smartcards, logistics and customer support are being used to make Phase 1 of Hop happen. Having Snapper and Hop together in the market is incredibly powerful for the customer. This partnership means customers will get an integrated ticketing system for public transport from Auckland Transport, and the best nationwide everyday payments platform from Snapper - all in one package.”

Four projects in one.
Mr Szikszai says, “Deploying in Auckland has brought a new set of challenges for Snapper. We’ve launched in other markets before - Wellington and Hutt Valley - but the scale and pace of the operation in Auckland is something unique.

"The Auckland roll-out has been split into four regions and is happening with incredible speed - we are excited to bring the speed and convenience of the Snapper system to Aucklanders as part of the Hop scheme.

“The Snapper deployment involves four key streams of work across each of these regions:
1. Supply and install Snapper’s ticketing equipment on all NZ Bus services.
2. Supply a new, fully branded and packaged smartcard to replace the existing Go Rider card used in the Auckland market.
3. Provide a large network of Snapper retailers throughout the Auckland market where customers can conveniently top up and spend.
4. Provide great customer support.
“These are all significant sub-projects in themselves and Snapper has enlisted the support of trusted partners such as HTS for bus installations, ABnote for smartcard production, and EFTPOS NZ and Smartpay for retail installations.”

Retailer benefits are evident in Auckland market.
Mr Szikszai says, “We have been impressed with how well Snapper is understood by the retail sector, and how ready the market is to adopt the Snapper system. For example, in Wellington it took about two years to reach 200 Snapper retailers. In Auckland, after three months, our retail team had signed up 100 retailers. One month later, and we’re already well past 250 Snapper retailers in Auckland. This is triple the retail footprint that Go Rider card holders were used to. And we’re not stopping there.”

150,000 smartcards handed out to commuters.
“In another stream of work, Snapper has commenced the massive logistical challenge of issuing nearly 150,000 Hop cards with a Snapper logo to existing Go Rider card holders. As part of the card issuing project over 100 additional staff are being employed, and will be located in and around places where we know Go Rider cards are used the most eg. busy bus stops, universities, schools, and shopping malls", adds Mr Szikszai.

Connecting the old with the new.
Mr Szikszai says, "To help customers who still have money on their old Go Rider card, Snapper has developed a standalone PC-based application that will automatically transfer the balance of their old Go Rider card to their new Hop card with a Snapper logo in just a few seconds.

"We believe that Snapper is the first in the world to develop a tool like this that reads a 20-year old smartcard, calculates the value across all the transport products on it, and writes this as a single dollar value to a modern smartcard.”

The facts and figures.
The installation of on-bus equipment has been something of a mega project. Snapper shares some of the facts and figures that put this into perspective:
• house and unpack 31 pallets of equipment
• test over 4,000 pieces of complex electronic equipment
• spend 13,000 manhours pre-wiring buses
• tie nearly 70,000 cable ties (more cable ties had to be sourced from overseas in the middle of the project as the local New Zealand supply was exhausted)
• pop 4,500 rivets
• connect 34,000 screws, nuts and bolts
• stick 500 rolls of insulation tape
• connect 3,000m of steel tubing
• make and install 1,600 validator poles
• install 26,000m of conduit
• and feed 22,000m of cables into the conduit.
That’s just the part of the bus installation process that the public hasn’t noticed. In the next few weeks the Snapper team will:
• fit 1,600 validators
• install over 650 bus driver consoles
• connect an additional 22,000 screws and washers
• and plug in over 6,000 plugs
• then test that it all works.
All this without disrupting the bus services that are essential for over 60% of Auckland’s everyday commuters.

About Snapper.
Snapper has created a brand new payment category in New Zealand, based on instant everyday payments using contactless smart media.
Over 165,000 Snappers have been issued in Wellington, generating over 40 million transactions across over 400 buses, 1000 taxis, and hundreds of retailers in New Zealand.
Snapper offers customers integrated ticketing and instant everyday payments. The Snapper system in Wellington also provides valuable journey data that can be used to plan better transport services for passengers.
Snapper Services Limited was formed in 2006 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Infratil Limited. Snapper launched in 2008, has offices in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand, and employs over 40 people.


Ends

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