Almost all of the major bus operators are now on HOP with only the Waiheke Bus Company (4th March) and Airporter (unannounced) left to go. I have also heard that the Airbus will change over but there is no timeframe for that yet.
With that in mind a few days ago I casually asked Auckland Transport how many people were now using HOP. Today they announced
Aucklanders are now travelling on more than 200,000 AT HOP cards.
AT HOP is a smart-card which can be used for travel on trains and ferries and it is now rolling out to buses across the region.
Auckland Transport has been progressively introducing the system across different transport modes and a multitude of operators.
AT’s chief operations officer Greg Edmonds says the 200,000 card milestone comes with 95 per cent of the roll-out – due for the end of March – completed.
Mr Edmonds says that under the second phase of the integrated ticketing programme, a new Fares Policy will be developed. This will involve a review of fare structures (e.g. stage-based, zonal, distance-based), investigation of different fare products and passes, and pricing levels.
The system was introduced on Howick and Eastern Bus services last weekend (February 16), and will be followed by services on Waiheke.
For more information call Auckland Transport on 09-3664467 or go to: www.ATHOP.co.nz
- On an average weekday some 236,000 trips are taken on public transport in the region.
- More than 3 million trips each month are made using the AT HOP card.
- On an average weekday buses in Auckland travel some 164,000 km – the equivalent of flying from Auckland to London nine times.
It’s good to hear that so many cards are now out there in the wild and knowing that all PT services are using a single card is something that will hopefully lead to quite a few more people picking one up however it does account for less than 15% of the overall Auckland population so there’s still quite some way to go yet before it’s seen as a mainstream thing. As pointed out in the comments on the post yesterday about the HOP scam warning, there are probably a heap of people out there who probably want one and AT need to make it as easy as possible to be able to get cards.
In my view AT really need to be aiming to get the card in the hands of at least four times that number of people (or more). I suspect that people seeing the card in their wallet might be something that will remind them of the PT options that are available (assuming they are decent). One area I would love AT to progress on this front is to roll out HOP to carparks around the city. It would save people having to line up at ticket machines to pay and help get the card into more people’s hands.
Of course a big thing that does need to be sorted next is to get proper integrated fares sorted out. I understand AT are working on it so hopefully it’s something we will hear more about soon.