ARTA Says Thales Superior & Cost Efficient To Snapper


ARTA, in signing the Thales deal for integrated ticketing this afternoon says this system is superior to that offered by Snapper, whose lobbying has been stepped up lately in the hope of making a last minute bid for the deal.

Chairman Rabin Rabindran  said media speculation about the cost of Thales compared to Snapper had been wildly exaggerated.

The capex figure for the contract signed today at 4pm is way below some media speculation which had put it as high as $135m. The capex  is $47m - which is $35m from NZTA and about $12m from ARTA.

ARTA says the operational cost will be $4m.

Central government was contributing because the same system will be rolled out nationwide after Auckland.

ARTA’s chairman says Thales is superior because:

  • Snapper is more of a “micropayment” card.
  • Snapper would not be independent as it would collect information from the card such as patronage use - information that should be shared among public transport operators so that routes can be planned
  • Snapper tendered for the card and was unsuccessful and this was confirmed later by NZTA after Snapper complained about the tender process.
  • Thales offers a proven multi-modal integrated solution thus minimising any development, implementation and operating risk.

He has repeated that  there is nothing stopping Snapper continuing to introduce its Wellington- based card to Auckland but it will now be up to Thales to introduce the official card.




  1. Luke says:

    I would have thought a reasonably big cost in introducing integrated ticketing would be when bringing in a standardised fare zoning system. This would likely reduce fare-box income in the short term, as those currently paying for multiple journeys would only pay for one. Also as fares are simplified you would want to make sure that no one pays much more, and then theres the issue of the substantial discount for card use that RR/ARTA has mentioned.
    Over a period of a couple of years the increased patronage brought on by the simplification should solve the problem. However there will be a substantial revenue shortfall in years 1 and 2.
    Any talk of how this is going to be handled, or have missed something obvious here?


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