Snapper welcome in Wellington still
Fare cheats worth $40m?
A single ticket for all Wellington public transport is on the way.
Greater Wellington Regional Council officers will begin investigating an integrated electronic ticket system for Wellington in early 2013, the council’s economic wellbeing committee heard recently.
The same electronic ticket could be used for buses, trains and ferries.
Despite being bundled out of a similar project in Auckland, Snapper are still in the Wellington frame, committee chairman Peter Glensor said.
GWRC has budgeted $39 million in its long-term plan for the ticket system but had been stalled by the Auckland work.
The NZ Transport Agency was expected to part-fund a new system but it wanted the Auckland system running first, and tickets elsewhere in New Zealand to be compatible.
French company Thales provided the technology for Auckland and Snapper were to supply tickets and readers for buses.
But in August, Auckland Transport terminated its agreement with Snapper, questioning whether Snapper could modify its system to comply with the Thales technology soon enough. The bus contract has instead been awarded to Thales.
Snapper’s dumping from the Auckland project did not mean it was unable to deliver a system that met NZTA’s demands, Mr Glensor said.
‘‘It just means that there has been a judgment that they will not meet the specification by November. They Central Community Newspapers asked GWRC Metlink projects and planning manager Tass Larsen whether enough Wellingtonians avoided paying fares to justify a $39 million ticket system.
Ms Larsen said inspectors and robust fines worked well in Germany, but there were differences from New Zealand.
‘‘ The reason that monthly tickets work so very well there, is that in Germany people have an ID card,’’ she said.
‘‘If you don’t have a ticket, [the ticket inspector has] the power to require you to show your ID card.’’
In New Zealand, passengers without a valid ticket could be ordered off the bus or train, but prosecution was difficult if they could not be reliably identified. say that Snapper did not meet the [project timeline] milestones.’’
Snapper had disputed that and would still be eligible to tender in Wellington, he said.
Snapper chief executive Miki Szikszai said his company met all of the milestones in Auckland.
‘‘We were very, very clear that we had a [Snapper] system that could integrate but the [Thales] system wasn’t there.’’