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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 230565 1-Mar-2018 19:05
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A brief history of integrated ticketing in major north island centres

 

  • Wellington adopts Snapper de facto as NZ Bus rolls it out unilaterally across their fleet
  • Snapper also goes into NZ Bus's Auckland buses
  • An independent system for Auckland (to be called Hop) is chosen
  • NZ Bus argues, lobbies, takes Auckland Transport to court, ultimately ends up replacing Snapper with Hop in Auckland
  • After Hop has proved itself for a few years across a significantly larger number of passengers and transactions, NZTA recommends that Wellington switches to Hop as a step toward a nationwide system
  • Crickets...
  • And then today the news is Auckland Transport is going to join the Wellington-initiated GRETS nationwide integrated ticket plan

According to the article, GRETS has been plagued with delays and has already failed a number of regional partners. But it rolls on, because some person or group is absolutely determined that Wellington will either keep Snapper forever, or be in control of the new system the rest of the country is to use. "Fishy" would be an appropriate adjective to use





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1966766 1-Mar-2018 19:54
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That is disappointing news.

 

AT already has a robust system up and running, which can easily be extended to other councils. AT's system is based on he Mifare standard. Netherland's national integrated ticketing system also runs on the Mifare standard so there is precedent for the system underlying HOP to become a national system.

 

I fear the proposed system will only see more money being spent (unnecessarily I should add) on yet another fare collection system.

 

It reminds me of the comic strip remarking on how the solution to too many standards is to create yet another standard. In this case we have so many different fare collection systems and to solve that we are now setting up yet another system which may or may not replace the other systems.


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  Reply # 1966772 1-Mar-2018 20:18
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I have been wondering how long it will be until Snapper is put out of its misery. It started out with a hiss and a roar as a contactless payment platform for small purchases, but obviously Visa and MasterCard put an end to that.

 

Meanwhile the Snapper popup machine at the Wellington library is faulty and no-one seems interested in fixing it. 


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  Reply # 1966815 1-Mar-2018 23:12
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Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.





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  Reply # 1966837 2-Mar-2018 07:31
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There are certainly some interesting attempts to rewrite history posted above. As somebody who's written extensively on the issue I regard HOP as nothing but a $100 million taxpayer funded failure.

 

HOP was built as a nationwide solution and received extensive taxpayer funding from NZTA. The problem is from day one NZTA's ambitions and ideals for an integrated ticketing solution differed significantly to what many regions wanted. While the goal was to share a common technology across regions, each region would have it's own clearing house because NZTA did not ever want people tyo be able to use (for example) a Wellington issues card in Auckland.

 

It's fantastic that rather than forcing a flawed solution on the regions that NZTA have now realised how deeply flawed the HOP model actually was and willing to fund a replacement that will eventually see Auckland move as well. Any such new solution will revolve heavily around tokenisation so the days of needing to carry a physical card with you and the continued existence of a prepaid model for transport will both be relegated to history.

 

 


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  Reply # 1966875 2-Mar-2018 08:42
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Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

 

 

Are we just talking about the ticketing system here, or is this a general opinion. I think that we as a nation have this belief that we should (where possible) do everything ourselves, but it's really quite silly - we don't need to reinvent the wheel constantly.


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  Reply # 1966982 2-Mar-2018 11:37
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DaveDog:

 

Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

 

 

Are we just talking about the ticketing system here, or is this a general opinion. I think that we as a nation have this belief that we should (where possible) do everything ourselves, but it's really quite silly - we don't need to reinvent the wheel constantly.

 

 

I don't think we should do everything our self, but equally it's all too common that contracts go to foreign companies when local companies exist and could do the work.





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  Reply # 1966986 2-Mar-2018 11:42
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Lias:

 

DaveDog:

 

Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

 

 

Are we just talking about the ticketing system here, or is this a general opinion. I think that we as a nation have this belief that we should (where possible) do everything ourselves, but it's really quite silly - we don't need to reinvent the wheel constantly.

 

 

I don't think we should do everything our self, but equally it's all too common that contracts go to foreign companies when local companies exist and could do the work.

 

 

 

 

In those cases, the contract is awarded likely on other factors - cost, ability to complete the job and so on. Can you imagine the taxpayer outcry for example that John Smith in Wellington got the job and it'll cost $1m when we could have given it to Brian James in the US for $750k... Then the calls of "jobs for mates, cronyism" and so on arise...

 

Government tendering (local and central) is quite a process and designed to deliver the best outcomes for the best price. Sometimes that goes pear-shaped, but more often than not - it works...


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  Reply # 1967043 2-Mar-2018 13:51
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alasta:

 

Meanwhile the Snapper popup machine at the Wellington library is faulty and no-one seems interested in fixing it. 

 

Yes I see what you mean - flickering unstable screen. Not sure if you actually meant you had reported it, but I've just done so - so, hopefully it gets sorted. I walk past it fairly regularly and I think that particular machine was only replaced about six months ago


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  Reply # 1967048 2-Mar-2018 14:01
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Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

Government rules of procurement explicitly say you can't favor one vendor over another because of location - eg being an NZ company.

 

However, you can set service levels that in practice require a local office. But to work around that a large contract a big company would just open an office with a support person.





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  Reply # 1967179 2-Mar-2018 17:29
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Lias:

 

DaveDog:

 

Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

 

 

Are we just talking about the ticketing system here, or is this a general opinion. I think that we as a nation have this belief that we should (where possible) do everything ourselves, but it's really quite silly - we don't need to reinvent the wheel constantly.

 

 

I don't think we should do everything our self, but equally it's all too common that contracts go to foreign companies when local companies exist and could do the work.

 

 

Building a ticketing solution isn't easy. It may sound easy, but the number of massive failures around the world really to show how difficult it really is.

 

It's a shame Cubic never bid for Auckland, but the whole tender process was designed around that Thales could offer anyway so they potentially didn't even bother if they knew who the expected winner was. They're pretty much leading the way now with their solutions and are currently running Oyster and Opal in Sydney (which pretty much just is Oyster rebranded).

 

 


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  Reply # 1967180 2-Mar-2018 17:35
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KiwiSurfer:

 

AT already has a robust system up and running, which can easily be extended to other councils. AT's system is based on he Mifare standard. Netherland's national integrated ticketing system also runs on the Mifare standard so there is precedent for the system underlying HOP to become a national system.

 

 

Mifare is completely irrelevant since the move towards tokenisation means stored value cards are pretty much obsolete. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are all moving towards tokenisation and there is even some uncertainty as to whether they'll even continue to support stored value cards going forward.

 

Having to carry a piece of plastic just for public transport when you existing credit card or phone can replace it and avoid ever needing to top up again.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1967218 2-Mar-2018 18:21
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Lias:

 

Better an NZ made solution than one from a European multinational. HOP should never have been deployed, AT should have been forced by the government to use the NZ grown solution.

 

 

No they shouldn't. Firstly they are spending other peoples money, and they have a responsibility to spend it on the best value for money bid they can get, irrespective of the nationality of the shareholders of the tenderer. Secondly, doing this would constitute protectionism, and if the government excluded overseas firms then they would likely fall afoul of the trade agreements has signed, as well as likely triggering retaliation against NZ businesses from the countries concerned.


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  Reply # 1967301 2-Mar-2018 21:21
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sbiddle:

Having to carry a piece of plastic just for public transport when you existing credit card or phone can replace it and avoid ever needing to top up again.


 


 



QFT!

Using my CC, iPhone or even Gen1 Apple Watch to tap in and out of busses/trains and tubes all over London and it’s surrounds was absolutely amazing (over two years ago!)

The days of separate ‘prepay’ value cards are looooong past now 🤷‍♂️

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  Reply # 1967484 3-Mar-2018 11:59
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allan:

 

alasta:

 

Meanwhile the Snapper popup machine at the Wellington library is faulty and no-one seems interested in fixing it. 

 

Yes I see what you mean - flickering unstable screen. Not sure if you actually meant you had reported it, but I've just done so - so, hopefully it gets sorted. I walk past it fairly regularly and I think that particular machine was only replaced about six months ago

 

 

Yes, two weeks ago I used it to top up and it charged my Eftpos card but didn't immediately top up my Snapper. I was fuming, so I rang the call centre and the guy assured me that my Snapper balance would correct once they had done their reconciliation which resolved my problem. However, he didn't seem that interested in getting the faulty machine fixed.


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