Oyster card for Auckland   6 Apr 2011

Auckland Transport today announced the introduction of its new HOP smartcard for public transport.

It is part of a phased lead-in to the full introduction of the region's first fully Integrated Ticketing system next year.

The much awaited launch of HOP follows earlier announcements regarding the Auckland ticketing system - the development of the Thales central integrated system and the participation agreement between Auckland Transport, Snapper and NZ Bus to integrate with the central system.

HOP is the primary brand for the Auckland Transport card. The name symbolizes seamless transport and the ability of customers to literally "hop-on and hop-off" public transport.

Auckland Transport Chief Executive, David Warburton said, "The name of the card was decided through the outcome of focus groups with wide representation from public transport users.

"The HOP card initially replaces Go Rider cards. Go Rider cardholders will receive a free HOP card and will be able to transfer any balance remaining onto that card. The change will roll out over the next few months.

Dr. Warburton said, "The HOP card simplifies how you pay for and use public transport. HOP will make boarding faster and easier for our customers with a tag-on, tag-off system."

Auckland Transport's HOP card will be rolled out for use on NZ Bus services including North Star, Waka Pacific, Go West, Metrolink and LINK during the next few weeks. Dates of each brand's rollout will be advised by Auckland Transport and NZ Bus shortly.

Dr. Warburton said, "This is a great example of partnering with our public transport operators and the importance of the advanced design, open architecture and flexibility of the secure Thales central system. It enables integration across all modes and ensures they are all designed to deliver superior outcomes to our customers."

Work is continuing on rolling out the system to further bus operators, rail and ferry, with construction works for ticketing devices currently underway across Auckland's rail network.

Dr Warburton said, "One of the big bonuses of using HOP is the saving of at least 10% off a normal cash fare.

"HOP cards are packaged individually for each customer - Adult, Child, Tertiary Full Year, Tertiary Semester 1 and Accessible.

"The card can be topped up using e-money (stored value) for the greatest flexibility or loaded with ten trips. HOP is also protected by customers simply registering online to protect the balance on their card.

"While the ability to top up on buses is being removed to enable faster boarding, we have more than doubled the number of top-up retailers around the city.

Dr. Warburton said, "We will be following the introduction of the HOP card on NZ Bus services with the expansion of Integrated Ticketing on rail and ferry services. The timing for this will 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 expect to announce further details of this and other initiatives in the coming months."

Thales New Zealand Country Director Peter Beggs said; "Thales is pleased to be part of the launch of the HOP brand as another tangible step in Auckland achieving a high quality and easy to use transport ticketing system.

"This launch is a further demonstration of the importance of Auckland Transport engaging an internationally proven, specialist ticketing systems provider with over forty years' experience in delivering advanced, integrated, multi-modal ticketing systems around the world.

"It is the advanced Thales ticketing system's design, scalability and open architecture which enables third parties to connect to Auckland Transport's central system."

NZ Bus Chief Executive Bruce Emson said: "The launch of HOP, Auckland Transport's new integrated ticketing card is an exciting time for public transport in Auckland.

"In partnership with Auckland Transport and Snapper, we're proud to be involved in delivering this first stage of integrated ticketing for Auckland. We believe that our customers will rapidly embrace the benefits of this new technology which will see increased reliability of our services through improved boarding times".

Snapper CEO Miki Szikszai said: "Snapper is pleased to support Auckland Transport in its mission to bring its Integrated Ticketing plan to life for public transport users.

"Snapper has already fitted out hundreds of buses in the NZ Bus fleets with the Snapper ticketing equipment, and developed a retail footprint of over 200 retailers in Auckland".

(Auckland Transport)

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