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Topic # 185737 3-Dec-2015 12:19
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Couldn't see a thread on this yet, so: Another article on Stuff today about the possibility of Snapper being replaced as the transport card solution in Wellington...
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/74639724/snapper-card-faces-uncertain-future-as-nzta-pushes-to-have-aucklands-hop-card-in-wellington 

Looks like the government, through NZTA, has written to the Greater Wellington Regional Council recommending the adoption of Auckland's HOP card in place of Snapper - the HOP card being provided by New Zealand Transport Ticketing Limited, wholly owned by NZTA. Sounds like quite heavy handed tactics from NZTA and seems like a conflict of interest and potentially inappropriate conduct should GWRC go out to tender for an all-of Wellington transport card provider.

I don't know much about HOP, but it appears that Snapper has many added benefits - I particularly like Snapper on Semble and the ability to top up a physical card instantly via Snapper Feeder USB or my phone. I also like that I can use it for parking, etc. I guess, to be balanced, a disadvantage is that Snapper is not accepted by all bus companies in Wellington, probably because it's owned by Infratil, who are in competition with Mana, Newlands Coaches, etc.

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  Reply # 1439851 3-Dec-2015 12:27
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Its not so much about replacing the current snapper,

But whether snapper can be in the running to be the region-wide transport smart card that the regional council has been banging on about for ages, and looks like it might finally happen

There were trials of useing HOP with NFC phones in 2012, but it all wents very murky and there was not public info about whether it was sucessful of not

http://idealog.co.nz/tech/2012/04/mobile-wallet

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  Reply # 1439857 3-Dec-2015 12:35
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I guess if they do use HOP in wellington the NZ bus can remove the old Snapper readers off the Auckland buses  so that when they send to Wellington  they will be compatible..  I've personally found the the current AK HOP card way more reliable  for tag on / off  than the old Snapper system..




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  Reply # 1439861 3-Dec-2015 12:40
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old3eyes: I guess if they do use HOP in wellington the NZ bus can remove the old Snapper readers off the Auckland buses  so that when they send to Wellington  they will be compatible..  I've personally found the the current AK HOP card way more reliable  for tag on / off  than the old Snapper system..

I've never used HOP, but haven't had a single problem with Snapper in the five or so years I've had one, using it maybe ten times a month.

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  Reply # 1439868 3-Dec-2015 12:57
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Ive been having more problems in the past few weeks with HOP not recording tags, and Im being "fined" for it even though Im on a monthly pass.....  its still not a great system. Funny how they can "fine" me straight away, but I'm not allowed to see the records for 24hrs....





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  Reply # 1439869 3-Dec-2015 13:01
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What's amazing is this story itself isn't actually news. The "end" of Snapper (as we know it) has been written on the wall since 2011. With the NZTA building their own ticketing standard (NITIS) and deploying a centralized backend for Auckland they then told local bodies that they will not fund public transport ticketing unless solutions are NITIS complaint.

The issue here isn't Snapper, or HOP. It's the fact our backwards thinking NZTA spend a huge amount of money building a proprietary solution which eventually became HOP. You can debate all day about JCOP vs MIFARE DESfire. You can debate all day about clearing houses. You can debate all day about the NZTA solution - but the reality is they have a flawed model, and moving away from that is impossible.

The NZTA went onto their ticketing solution with a very narrow focus. They wanted a centralised backend with regional clearing houses. This means you will never be able to use your Wellington "HOP" card in Auckland. Why? Because the NZTA have already said this will never be possible with their clearing house model. Likewise neither a Wellington or Auckland 'HOP" card will ever be able to used for micropayments. Why? Because the NZTA don't want to you to. The core (and sole) focus of their ticketing solution is to provide a public transport ticketing solution, nothing else.

The problem with all of this is that the NZTA built a solution that wasn't built for the society we live in. People don't want closed standards and proprietary systems. They want open data. If you look at London now the use of Paywave and Paypass rather than an Oyster card had hit something like 25% of all transactions when I was there earlier in the year - some 6 months after the full launch of this.

HOP is a horribly bad product in multiple ways. Snapper isn't perfect either. Both of these pose the real but simple question - why rely on proprietary Thales solutions when we have the skills in NZ to have build a full solution?




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  Reply # 1439885 3-Dec-2015 13:28
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sbiddle: The NZTA went onto their ticketing solution with a very narrow focus. They wanted a centralised backend with regional clearing houses. This means you will never be able to use your Wellington "HOP" card in Auckland. Why? Because the NZTA have already said this will never be possible with their clearing house model.


A Michael Forbes writing in the Dompost "It is expected Wellingtonians will be able to use their new cards in Auckland and vice versa." If this is already known to be impossible is he uninformed?

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  Reply # 1439889 3-Dec-2015 13:45
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Bung:
sbiddle: The NZTA went onto their ticketing solution with a very narrow focus. They wanted a centralised backend with regional clearing houses. This means you will never be able to use your Wellington "HOP" card in Auckland. Why? Because the NZTA have already said this will never be possible with their clearing house model.


A Michael Forbes writing in the Dompost "It is expected Wellingtonians will be able to use their new cards in Auckland and vice versa." If this is already known to be impossible is he uninformed?


Only if they are supergold card holders in the offpeak "free" period , the rest get told its to hard to interface the seperate regional clearing houses...

The rapid move to NFC, Apple Pay, along with things using Paywave/paypass, will see people who using a proprietory physical card based approach seeming like flip phone using dinosouars...

NITIS is a top down byzantine bureaucratic solution that has locked the country into an early 2000s solution.....
But hey, whats $60-$100 million between friends...


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  Reply # 1439892 3-Dec-2015 13:48
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Bung:
sbiddle: The NZTA went onto their ticketing solution with a very narrow focus. They wanted a centralised backend with regional clearing houses. This means you will never be able to use your Wellington "HOP" card in Auckland. Why? Because the NZTA have already said this will never be possible with their clearing house model.


A Michael Forbes writing in the Dompost "It is expected Wellingtonians will be able to use their new cards in Auckland and vice versa." If this is already known to be impossible is he uninformed?


That's why passive language like "It is expected" is so useless. It tells us nothing about who had the opinion. I expect that the opinion is from the writer and not a quote from the HOP proponents.

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  Reply # 1439903 3-Dec-2015 14:01
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Not being able to use a card in another region was by design. Either the NZTA have changed their mind, or the journalist has made aa (very) logical assumption but an assumption which is in fact incorrect.

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  Reply # 1439906 3-Dec-2015 14:04
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wellygary: >NITIS is a top down byzantine bureaucratic solution that has locked the country into an early 2000s solution.....
But hey, whats $60-$100 million between friends...



I wish I could have summed it up that well! :)

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  Reply # 1439911 3-Dec-2015 14:14
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To this day I still wonder what backhanders were paid by Thales to people in NZTA to lock Snapper out of the running. At the time it looked like dirty tactics and the entire thing still smacks of chronism and corruption... IMO of course

I would hope Wellingtonians revolt and make their voices heard.

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  Reply # 1440162 3-Dec-2015 21:03
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sbiddle: Not being able to use a card in another region was by design. Either the NZTA have changed their mind, or the journalist has made aa (very) logical assumption but an assumption which is in fact incorrect.


I remember that during the early stages, presentations were made by the NZTA to various regional councils that referenced their long term vision of card portability between regions though a shared systems approach. Whether this strategy changed along the way, or whether the NZTA did not clearly understand what they were funding remains to be seen.

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  Reply # 1440191 3-Dec-2015 22:42
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I went into a convenience store in town earlier this week to buy some milk, and was told that I couldn't pay by Snapper as the retail transaction functionality of Snapper was closed down several months ago. I guess that is the beginning of the end for Snapper as a standalone business, so it will be interesting to see what Infratil end up doing with it long term.

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  Reply # 1452827 18-Dec-2015 08:37
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keewee01: To this day I still wonder what backhanders were paid by Thales to people in NZTA to lock Snapper out of the running. At the time it looked like dirty tactics and the entire thing still smacks of chronism and corruption... IMO of course

I would hope Wellingtonians revolt and make their voices heard.


If you really want to know you could submit an OIA to NZTA and see what you get back. Most likely it will be rejected as being commercial in confidence! Then go to the Ombudsman.




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  Reply # 1460519 3-Jan-2016 10:09
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The problem with all of this is that the NZTA built a solution that wasn't built for the society we live in. People don't want closed standards and proprietary systems.

Snapper is 100% closed and proprietary. The SDK is closed. The applet is closed. The company controls the applets installation. 


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