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Awesome
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  # 674720 20-Aug-2012 18:58
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jonherries: Observing from the outside, the Snapper solution makes money for NZBus. Ie. load your card, they hold your cash until it is "spent".

Therefore the Snapper guys are doing what Birkenhead and Newland do for their own gain (just at a larger nicer scale) and none of it is interoperable.

Hence the Thales contract to try and make everything work together. Unfortunately this won't succeed until they push everyone to a single standard. This won't happen until they re-tender the bus services and add it to the contract. Who knows when this will be.

Jon


Yep, many operators have had their own solutions. Ritchie's on the North Shore already have a contact-less smart card, and by moving to an integration solution, it means that they are potentially giving up having millions of dollars in prepaid fares sitting in their bank account earning interest.




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  # 674722 20-Aug-2012 19:01
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jonherries: Observing from the outside, the Snapper solution makes money for NZBus. Ie. load your card, they hold your cash until it is "spent".

Sure. Except that Snapper can be used in other segments - cafes, dairies, etc. It would expand and make it easier for consumers to pay using a very fast alternative to cash (no need to count change) or credit card/EFTPOS transactions (no need to wait for PIN, authorisation, etc).

Obviously the bus companies have something against making the consumers' lives easier.





 
 
 
 


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  # 674723 20-Aug-2012 19:03
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This may explain it a bit more,

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/transport/news/article.cfm?c_id=97&objectid=10828120

"Auckland Transport has only itself to blame for its present predicament. In 2009, after a lengthy international tender process, Thales was selected by AT's predecessor, ARTA, to deliver an integrated public transport ticketing system.

One of the winning points was that it had a stable, well-tested system in use in cities around the world.

Wellington-based Snapper, an offshoot of investment company Infratil, missed out, but angrily contested the results through the legal system and lost. Snapper's sister company, New Zealand Bus, runs the main Auckland bus company and, at the time, Snapper chairman Paul Ridley-Smith told the Herald: "We're not going to plug into Thales. We have a perfectly functional, 100-per-cent-effective, totally integrated ticketing system, so why would you build another?""




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  # 674724 20-Aug-2012 19:03
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Is the 'Thales' system actually running on anything?
I gathered that neither the trains or the ferries have a card system yet - is that so?

The snapper/hop card on the NZ buses works great - I wish the PITA customers who insist on fumbling through their purses on a rainy day would use it!

I guess the other great thing is that if I find myself down in Wellywood I can use my snapper/hop card to catch a bus there.




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  # 674727 20-Aug-2012 19:06
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What jonherries said is correct. Other bus companies will not sign up for Snapper, ever, because that'll mean giving patronage numbers and other commerically sensitive information to their competitor, NZ Bus (NZ Bus and Snapper are both subsidiaries of Infratil.) Which is why Thales is involved, to set up a neutral standard. Thales has done smartcard systems in many other countries, so they are more experienced as well. I suspect the other bus companies haven't set up Thales' system yet because they are still waiting for the final HOP standard, blocked by trying to make Snapper compatible. Though I'm just guessing. Now that Auckland Transport is kicking Snapper off, that might finally proceed.

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  # 674728 20-Aug-2012 19:07
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What technology does the Thales system run? Is it compatible?

The Snapper system will work with new NFC phones, like the Galaxy S III - so if the Thales tech is very different I would suggest that it is also inferior in that it wouldn't be compatible with emerging tech.




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  # 674733 20-Aug-2012 19:18
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noelz: What jonherries said is correct. Other bus companies will not sign up for Snapper, ever, because that'll mean giving patronage numbers and other commerically sensitive information to their competitor, NZ Bus (NZ Bus and Snapper are both subsidiaries of Infratil.) Which is why Thales is involved, to set up a neutral standard. Thales has done smartcard systems in many other countries, so they are more experienced as well. I suspect the other bus companies haven't set up Thales' system yet because they are still waiting for the final HOP standard, blocked by trying to make Snapper compatible. Though I'm just guessing. Now that Auckland Transport is kicking Snapper off, that might finally proceed.


In the case of my local company Birkenhead Transport I'm not so sure its a matter of being competitive as much as it is refusing to upgrade their 10+ year old system, They went for as long as they could without upgrading their buses and have finally done something about it and have now gone and installed their ancient cash and clip card based system in the new buses.

 
 
 
 


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  # 674738 20-Aug-2012 19:30
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noelz: What jonherries said is correct. Other bus companies will not sign up for Snapper, ever, because that'll mean giving patronage numbers and other commerically sensitive information to their competitor, NZ Bus (NZ Bus and Snapper are both subsidiaries of Infratil.) Which is why Thales is involved, to set up a neutral standard.


You are saying Snapper *WILL* get this data and pass it on to the parent or sister companies.

I believe in a lot of things, but this is not one of these...






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  # 674748 20-Aug-2012 19:36
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Interesting given that 2degrees have thrown a lot of effort into intergrating snapper into their NFC enabled phones:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=85&topicid=101029
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=85&topicid=101567

I'm guessing they're feeling a little disappointed at the way events are unfolding at the moment.



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  # 674785 20-Aug-2012 20:34
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Soo.... if the Snapper system was owned by an independent would that have made the difference, or is it too bespoke and incompatible with Thales (international?) standard??

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  # 674798 20-Aug-2012 21:06
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ajobbins: What technology does the Thales system run? Is it compatible?

The Snapper system will work with new NFC phones, like the Galaxy S III - so if the Thales tech is very different I would suggest that it is also inferior in that it wouldn't be compatible with emerging tech.


Thales is NFC compatible too, and already has a bank on board.

oxnsox: Soo.... if the Snapper system was owned by an independent would that have made the difference, or is it too bespoke and incompatible with Thales (international?) standard??


The Snapper install last I heard was an implementation of Korea Smart Card Company's solution.  Unfortunately ARTA demanded a system that was in use in several cities as evidence that the system works.  Part of that was the intervention of the NZ Transport Agency who seemed pretty insistent that a global conglomerate win the contract.



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  # 674803 20-Aug-2012 21:19
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So why doesn't the NZTA take ownership of the system....
That would provide a standardised solution across the country (which would be a good thing) and don't the NZTA provide the subsidies across the Rail/Ferry/Bus transport systems?

Or am I just ignoring the politics....

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  # 674813 20-Aug-2012 21:34
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Kyanar: 
oxnsox: Soo.... if the Snapper system was owned by an independent would that have made the difference, or is it too bespoke and incompatible with Thales (international?) standard??


The Snapper install last I heard was an implementation of Korea Smart Card Company's solution.  Unfortunately ARTA demanded a system that was in use in several cities as evidence that the system works.  Part of that was the intervention of the NZ Transport Agency who seemed pretty insistent that a global conglomerate win the contract.


Bollocks. From the link you posted:

"In a world first, Thales will be using its near-field communication (NFC) application throughout Auckland Transport’s final smart card ticketing system, HOP, before deploying it globally across all networks and banks."

Not in use in several cities at all, it seems. And Snapper *IS* working in Wellington.









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  # 674829 20-Aug-2012 21:46
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oxnsox: So why doesn't the NZTA take ownership of the system....
That would provide a standardised solution across the country (which would be a good thing) and don't the NZTA provide the subsidies across the Rail/Ferry/Bus transport systems?

Or am I just ignoring the politics....


NZTA taking ownership is a big part of the problem. They want a single standard across the country, but unfortunately making it clear what that standard should be is the hard part.

They also don't want ticketing to be used in different cities and don't want the ability to have micropayments - in their mind they're deploying a ticketing system that should be used solely for ticketing.

And as for the post above taking about NFC and Thales - that was a press release released on the day of the Snapper launch by AT, Thales and Telecom to try and take the focus off the 2degrees/Snapper launch. It's easy to talk up a product that doesn't actually exist in the real world. Even those who hate Snapper give them a lot of credit for launching what is a pioneering NFC based solution on a global scale. Very few are doing what Snapper have running in the real world, and I'm sure Thales would love to have s solution that is actually capable of delivering even half the functionality of what Snapper and 2degrees have in place.

Thales card solution is MIFARE Desfire whereas Snapper use JCOP on all new cards.






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  # 674835 20-Aug-2012 22:02
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sbiddle: NZTA taking ownership?is a big part of the problem. They want a single standard across the country, but unfortunately making it clear what that standard should be is the hard part.

They also don't want ticketing to be used in different cities and don't want the ability to have micropayments - in their mind they're deploying a ticketing system that should be used solely for ticketing. >

Ahhhh... tis political then.
If only they could see the benefit of a national system with value added micro services.
In a half dozen years or so they could flog it off to an Aussie bank. :-)

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