With confirmation that Snapper have been kicked out of the integrated ticketing project, the rollout of the AT HOP card is now underway. This will start first on the trains, as detailed on the MAXX website. The biggest change is that we are (finally) shifting our ticket sales away from the 1920s approach of selling them onboard:
On-board ticket sales are being phased out
Get used to buying your ticket before you board. You can also buy a single paper ticket before you get on the train at easy to use Ticket & Top Up machines at all rail stations where you can use cash, eftpos or credit cards.
Please Note: If you get a transfer ticket, please continue buying this on-board.
With the AT HOP card being based on stored value, there will also no longer be a need for 10 trip tickets. I presume that 10 trip tickets will also be phased out on the bus network – for some reason this wasn’t done with the first phase of implementing HOP, though it’s incredibly rare to see anyone using multi-journey rather than stored value these days.
10 Trip tickets are being replaced
10 Trip tickets will be replaced by the new Auckland Transport HOP prepay card (AT HOP). You will still keep your 10 Trip ticket discount on the AT HOP card.
10 September 2012:
10 Trip tickets will no longer be sold on-board trains or rail replacement buses.
27 October 2012:
You can still buy 10 Trip tickets from Ticket Offices and Ticket Agents until 27 October 2012.
From 28 October 2012 10 Trip tickets will be replaced by the AT HOP card. If you have a 10 Trip ticket, you can still use it until its expiry date which will be stamped on the ticket so you can use the full value.
From 28 October the new AT HOP card will be activated and will be able to be used on the rail network. On this date there will be quite a number of changes – these are listed below:
- Tagging-on and tagging-off will ensure that you receive discounted travel automatically.
- 10 Trip tickets for rail will be replaced by HOP Money loaded onto your AT HOP card and no longer be available for purchase.
- Adult Monthly Rail Passes (City Monthly, All Zones, and Regional) will be replaced by loading an adult monthly pass onto the AT HOP card.
- You can still buy the current child monthly passes at Ticket Offices and Ticket Agents.
- Day Rover tickets will no longer be sold.
- $1 charge for bikes will be discontinued for all customers; free travel for bikes at staff discretion through busy periods.
Single tickets will presumably still be sold on board for a bit longer, although eventually I think that will be phased out as well – as the tickets will be able to be purchased from the machines at the stations.
One big unanswered question is whether people will be able to get one of the new AT HOP cards for free, while still retaining their existing HOP/Snapper card. As it may be until this time next year before the AT HOP card is working on all bus services, resolving this issue will be critical. There will still inevitably be a lot of confusion, perhaps best summarised in Brian Rudman’s article today:
That HOP card is the one used on NZ Bus vehicles. It’s already here. But it looks different from the new AT HOP card.
The existing card tells me in large type it is “Your ticket to Auckland”, but it isn’t, and never will be. It’s not compatible with the new HOP card, as anyone who tries to hop off a bus and on to a train will soon discover.
For the minority of us who have followed the Byzantine twists and turns of this saga, this comes as little surprise. But for the ordinary commuter about to be battered by another marketing campaign to get a HOP card, I can see nothing but confusion.
I’ve already got one. No you haven’t. Get off the bus, that HOP card doesn’t work … Do you take cash?
This is going to be a bit messy.