Things have been fairly quiet about the implementation of integrated ticketing in recent times. Auckland Transport’s board paper on the project is quite genius in writing quite a lot of words without actually saying anything – a pinnacle of bureaucratic nonsense:
However, a few posts on the Campaign for Better Transport forum suggest that some further news might not be too far away (original source apparently here):
The current HOP card is only available for use on NZ Bus buses. HOP Snapper Cards will be phased out and replaced with the new AT HOP card when NZ Bus services become part of the integrated ticketing system. We will keep customers updated of developments through marketing activity and through information available on both the MAXX and MyHop website.”
Please inform customers that an official announcement will be made next week. We advise customers to sign up for updates at http://www.myhop.co.nz/pages/subscribe.aspx
This confirms the suspicions of many that the current HOP cards will need to be swapped out for new HOP cards in order for them to work on buses, trains and ferries in the future. This raises a number of interesting issues and questions in my mind:
- Will the existing Snapper/HOP cards be deactivated completely from being able to be used on NZ Bus services or will there be two different parallel HOP systems?
- How will Auckland Transport manage the swap? Presumably existing Snapper/HOP card holders will get a new HOP card – but do they get to keep the old one (still potentially has value for small purchases at shops but could cause confusion with real HOP)
- Does this news suggest that NZ Bus has confirmed they’re able to hook into “real HOP” by November 30th, or will we see trains and ferries happen first?
- Do we really want two different HOP cards, one for some buses but doesn’t work on the trains or ferries and one for trains and ferries but doesn’t work on buses, in circulation at the same time?
Hopefully one day the full story comes out about the whole process – because from the outside it seems like a giant slow-moving train wreck of a farce. But perhaps we’ll get there in the end?