Winston Peters shows that he clearly doesn’t understand HOP - although I guess that shouldn’t be surprising
New Zealand First is urging SuperGold Cardholders who travel for free on Auckland public transport not to waste their money buying a prepaid card.
New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says seniors are being pressured to spend $15 on an Auckland Transport prepaid HOP card and advises those who have done so to demand their money back.
“SuperGold Cardholders should demand their money back if they paid $5 for the card and the minimum $10 prepaid credit because the HOP card is simply an attack on the elderly.
“Auckland Transport’s HOP-card campaign has already signed up 11,129 SuperGold Cardholders.
“That means Auckland Transport has fleeced more than $166,000 from seniors who gain no advantage from buying the tag-on, tag-off card,” says Mr Peters, who introduced the SuperGold Card in 2007. “It is a grand confidence trick.”
“All they need for travel on the bus or for a train or ferry ticket is their SuperGold Card. They can travel free in Auckland from 9am on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays.
“A SuperGold Cardholder told us she would never use the $10 she was forced to load on the card and quite rightly asked, what is Auckland Transport doing with all the money,” says Mr Peters.
There are in fact many good reasons for SuperGold cardholders to get a HOP card.
- While most card holders will likely be travelling off peak, many still travel at peak and a HOP card allows them to pay for their fare (and get the HOP discounts).
- Perhaps more importantly is a SuperGold concession can be loaded onto a HOP card that means it automatically gives free travel after 9am.
If you wish to travel using an AT HOP card, you can have a SuperGold Concession loaded onto your card. This will save you having to get a free SuperGold ticket before you travel on trains and ferries. You may only hold one AT HOP card with a SuperGold profile on it. Travel commencing after 9am weekdays and all day on weekends and on public holidays will still be free and you will be able to tag on and tag off with your AT HOP card.
Travel commencing before 9am will be charged at adult fares to your HOP Money balance on your AT HOP card with at least 10% discount off single trip paper tickets (excludes NiteRider and Airbus Express bus services). https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/at-hop/at-hop-concessions/supergold-concession/
- Using a HOP card to tag on/off at a train station is also easier than having to go to a ticket machine – something some older citizens seem to struggle with.
- On buses the HOP card speeds up boarding making for quicker trips, not just for those with SuperGold cards but for everyone else and as we’ve discussed before that can have potentially big benefits for operational costs.
The reason I highlight this, is not so much for this specific example but that I wonder if this type of lack of understanding is perhaps a symptom of just how poor our PT has been for such a long time. Many people simply don’t understand why developments like HOP are so vitally needed. It’s also something that we need to be especially mindful of with an election coming up. In this specific case Peters would be better advocating for a HOP card that looks like a SuperGold card so that those eligible only need a single card in their wallet.