A few days ago I did a post entitled Snapper Shocker where I expressed my disgust at Snapper’s announcement they would be introducing the Snapper card on the buses of their sister company NZ Bus. I reflected on the seriousness of using such words without clarification, I actually started to wonder if I had gone too far in my frustration that is until I saw yesterday this story in the NZ Herald and realised if anything I didn’t go far enough:
Snapper chief executive Miki Szikszai, whose card is now used only on Wellington buses and at some retail outlets but which is based on a multi-modal Korean system and will soon be extended to taxis, says he would have no difficulties feeding it into “back-office” facilities supplied by Thales.
But his chairman, Infratil director Paul Ridley-Smith, appeared to contradict that position in questioning the need for the Auckland authority to establish a separate electronic transaction clearing house to Snapper’s.
“No, no, we’re not going to plug into Thales,” he told the Herald. “We have a perfectly functional, 100 per cent effective, totally competent integrated ticketing system so why would you build another one?”
A leaked report by Mr Ridley-Smith to his board in August outlined a strategy for Snapper to sign up transport operators in Auckland before presenting a fait accompli to the Transport Agency.
That was aimed at “removing the need for NZTA funding and thus denying ARTA the ability to contract with Thales.”
I think a blog commenter called Commuter on the Auckland Trains website has summed it up nicely:
Maybe Infratil could now rename their Snapper cards, Eel cards, being slippery, definitely slimy and somewhat of an acquired taste.