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Auckland Transport Announces Key Development for Integrated Ticketing

16 Dec 2010

Auckland Transport today announced a key development in the region’s Integrated Ticketing system will be introduced early next year which will allow people to use a single “smartcard” on public transport in Auckland.

Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton says, “Supplementing the contract already in place with Thales, a Participation Agreement has now been signed between Auckland Transport, NZ Bus and Snapper for the introduction of a single smartcard for use on NZ Bus services as part of the Auckland Integrated Ticketing program.

“Interoperable equipment will be deployed onto services run by NZ Bus early next year. Customers of North Star, Waka Pacific, Go West, Metrolink and will use a contactless smartcard which will launch Auckland Transport’s Integrated Ticketing brand.”

Dr Warburton says, “We will be following the deployment of equipment on NZ Bus services with the expansion of Integrated Ticketing on rail and ferry services. We expect the timing for this to be in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup.

“This will be linked to the launch of a travel product specifically for visitors to Auckland which will make public transport an attractive option during the period of the Rugby World Cup. We will be announcing further details of this and other initiatives over the coming months.

“Supporting this participation agreement for bus equipment and ticket deployment, Auckland Transport’s ticketing system partner, Thales, is progressing the development of the rail and ferry solutions and the central system."

Peter Beggs, Country Director, Thales New Zealand says, “As the core ticketing system provider (central system, rail and ferry), Thales welcomes the participation of other suppliers in providing the bus solution for the system.”

"From the outset, the Thales system, which is based on open architecture in use in Dubai and Netherlands, is designed to be open, enabling third parties to connect to Auckland Transport’s central system."

“This collaborative approach is a positive development in the delivery of a high quality and easy to use ticketing system for Auckland.”

NZ Bus Chief Executive Bruce Emson says “Integrated Ticketing is an important initiative in the Auckland transport market. We’re pleased to be involved in the implementation of the Integrated Ticketing system for our customers and visitors to Auckland, which will see increased reliability of our services through improved boarding times. We believe that our customers will rapidly embrace the benefits of Integrated Ticketing and it will become an important part of the Auckland Public Transport landscape.”

Snapper CEO Miki Szikszai says “Snapper is pleased to be supporting Auckland Transport’s Integrated Ticketing initiative. Snapper is also working with our existing industry partners to bring a range of services for contactless payments in retail and other categories to the Auckland market. We think Aucklanders will love the simplicity and convenience of Snapper’s proven contactless payment system when paying for everyday items.”

Dr Warburton says, “Auckland Transport anticipates these agreements and the open architecture of the core Thales system will encourage participation by other suppliers and providers, such as car parking, widening the scope of the project and ensuring Auckland commuters will receive a ‘transport card with benefits’”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
About Snapper
Snapper has created a brand new payment category in New Zealand, based on small value payments using contactless smart media.
Over 150,000 Snappers have been issued in Wellington, generating over 33 million transactions, across over 400 buses, 700 taxis, and hundreds of retailers in New Zealand.
Snapper offers customers integrated ticketing and instant small value 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.

About Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport is a Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Auckland Council. It is responsible for all of the region’s transport services (excluding state highways) - from roads and footpaths, to cycling, parking and public transport.  Among its main tasks are:
• To design, build and maintain Auckland’s roads, ferry wharves, cycleways and walkways.
• Co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as school travel
• Plan and fund bus, train and ferry services across Auckland.
www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz.

About NZ Bus
In November 2005, Infratil – owner and operator of businesses predominantly in the energy and airport sectors – acquired the New Zealand public transport interests of Stagecoach.
A subsidiary, NZ Bus, was established to manage its public transport operations. Today NZ Bus is the leading passenger transport operator in New Zealand, with services in Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei operating approximately 1100 buses, providing 55-60 million customer journeys per year and employing just under 2000 drivers and support staff. Its brands include Metrolink, LINK, Go West, North Star and Waka Pacific in Auckland; GO Wellington, Valley Flyer & Airport Flyer in Wellington and Northbus in Whangarei.

NZ Bus’s vision is to be recognised as the Australasian leader in passenger transport and the way people in our communities choose to travel. The company recognises that in order for public transport to become the preferred mode of urban transport, it must be popular with the communities it serves. Since its purchase by Infratil, NZ Bus has instigated a number of changes designed to make its services more reliable, convenient, frequent and comfortable. These include continued investment in new and better buses, on-going driver training and better systems.

About Thales
Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009, the company generated revenues of €12.9 billion (equivalent of NZD 22.8 billion) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners. www.thalesgroup.co.nz

Thales has had a presence in New Zealand for over 20 years, investing in the local economy and in local skills and infrastructure. Thales is delivering a world-class integrated fare collection system in Auckland and rapidly establishing its presence within the New Zealand transport market. Thales also provides air traffic management, radar and instrument landing systems to key New Zealand airports, and is a key supply partner to the New Zealand Defence Force


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