Snapper makes last-minute bid to win Auckland ticketing back from French

An integrated ticketing system for public transport could save Auckland $70 million in costs, Snapper Services says.

The integrated ticketing company is urging Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and New Zealand Transport Agency to use the smartcard system on public transport such as ferries and buses.

Snapper chief executive Miki Szikszai said 90% of Auckland’s public transport could have integrated ticketing services in place by 2011 in time for the Rugby World Cup using the technology.

But last week, ARTA announced French firm Thales as its preferred provider of such as integrated ticketing system. Mr Szikszai said ARTA should be congratulated for making integrated ticketing a priority in Auckland.

"It is the way the world is going, but things have moved very fast since they called for tenders in 2007 to have their own system developed and set a budget of $135 million,” he said.

“Melbourne and Sydney have been going down this route for years with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns and legal actions, but have yet to get comprehensive systems of the ground.

“The new offer we have made to ARTA today is that they need pay no up-front costs at all. Snapper’s IT systems are up and running and comfortably processing millions of transactions already. We can easily cover Auckland,” Mr Szikszai said. 

Snapper has been installed in more than 400 buses in New Zealand. It is a subsidiary of Infratil.

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ARTA should consult more widely.
The Snapper system adopted by Wellington has been working well for some time. In Korea several million transactions are successfully processed by this system each year. Why re-invent the wheel? and spend $135 million of ratepayers money doing it. The SNAPPER system will be installed for free! We need a system usable throughout the whole country

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I think the reason Snapper did not win the tender is because of a potential confilct of interest. They are owned by infratil who also own NZ bus Auckland's largest bus service provider.

However $70 million is a fair chunk of change. This money could be reallocated to solve some of the cost platform length issues with the rail electrification project.

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