I felt my blood begin to boil when reading yesterday’s “Ask Phoebe” on the rollout of the AT HOP card:
The Herald last week reported that old Hop cards may be exchanged free of charge for new ones. The Maxx website says new Hop cards for the trains are $10 each. Can you please clarify this? Also, from what date are we able to make the old-for-new exchange? I understand that most people will still need their old one to use on the buses, but I don’t as I have moved house and am now a train user. If you are a bus and train user you will ultimately end up with two cards – would a refund be in order for those people once everything is integrated? Jan Patterson, Auckland.
To clarify: the new pre-pay card, to be called the AT Hop card, will have a one-off cost of $10.
The new card will come into use on October 28 on trains only. If at that time you have a 10-trip ticket, you can continue to use that until its expiry date. Any monthly passes still in use after October 28 can be used until their expiry date.
The current Hop Snapper card, available for use on NZ Bus buses, will eventually be phased out and replaced with the AT Hop card once an integrated ticketing system is in place.
Presumably Phoebe got Auckland Transport to provide the response to this question. In which case I cannot begin to explain how stupid they are being. Let’s go through it:
- The integrated ticketing scheme already has a pretty bad reputation, given the myriad of delays and the fact that people with a “Hop Card” and going to need to change it for a “Hop Card”
- People get annoyed at having to pay for a PT card anyway – paying for the privilege of paying seems a bit rough
- Surely Auckland Transport want as many people using the “new” Hop Card” as soon as possible, so an ideal opportunity is to develop a mechanism for current Hop Card holders to get a new card while continuing to use their existing one, for as long as it remains valid.
- For those who spent $10 on the current Hop Card, having to pay $10 again just because Auckland Transport and Snapper were so useless they couldn’t sort things out is just like rubbing salt into the wounds
My guess is that Auckland Transport have thought about this. They probably have set up a Hop transition scheme, but their communications people are just too absolutely hopeless to know how to get this message across.
In the meanwhile, the Hop brand will be trashed even further and integrated ticketing will turn into even more of a joke. Great job AT.