Confirmed: Thales Deal Signed. Cost $47m


As predicted earlier in the day, the Thales deal on public transport integrated ticketing has been signed.

Here are the key details:

  • The capital cost of the project has come in at $47 million-  a lot lower for ratepayers  than had been speculated. Snapper has insisted theirs would mean no cost to tax and ratepayers. ARTA says the fact that NZTA is developing a core system for New Zealand means a greater contribution has come from central government, lessening the impact on the pockets of Auckland ratepayers.
  • Thales strategic partner, Octopus will supply the core central clearing house system.
  • It will be based on Thales’ successful implementation of the Netherlands nationwide transport OV Chipkaart - see what’s in store from my earlier post here
  • Like Snapper, the card  will be extendable in that it is able to move into small payments such as coffee purchases, parking meter charges and other small retail charges as they arise.
  • Auckland gets it first and then its rolled out nationwide

Through the Central Clearing House, ARTA will process the daily transactions from the transport operators fare collection systems, undertake financial reconciliation and securely manage cardholders’ records.

  • In respect of timelines, initial core functions will be implemented with additional functionality progressively phased in. Base functionality will be in place in time for the Rugby World Cup.
  • The Thales AIFS system is scalable, using open architecture and standards, ensuring flexibility and interoperability with 3rd-party suppliers and supports the future delivery of a fully integrated national fare collection system.
  • The deal was signed at 4pm  by ARTA, in conjunction with its partner Thales and its funders NZTA) and the ARC.


  • ARTA’s Chairman, Rabin Rabindran: “After a long and often challenging process, ARTA is at the gate and very happy to be signing the contract for the supply of a superior, multi-modal transport ticket for Auckland, which forms the basis of a core central ticketing system for New Zealand. Auckland will receive a proven, mature, multi-modal and multi-operator system leveraging some of the best fare collection systems already in operation in the world including Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Dubai.”
  • ARC Chairman, Mike Lee: “It will enable a quantum leap forward for Auckland public transport patronage.”
  • Thales, Vice President, Pierre Maciejowski: “ Launched in 1997, Hong Kong’s Octopus is recognised as the world’s most convenient and widely used smart card payment system with broad applications for public transport.”

Indeed-  this is a great day for Auckland public transport and a fantastic solution.




  1. James says:

    Octopus is on board! Even better. They’ll be able to pick and choose the best features of all those well-established systems. Brilliant. Rabin Rabindran just now on National Radio’s checkpoint programme: “ARTA will require operators to interface their systems with the core system.”

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    This is awesome, all I can hope now is Snapper reads the writing on the wall and quietly withdraws its rollout…

  3. James says:

    Longer quote from RR:

    “Talking about auckland all the operators if they have any other system they have to ensure that they are able to tie in with our system, that is a requirement that we have from our operators. It will not be a situation where you are having different machines…you can have different machines but you won’t have any more than one [type of] machine on any one transport vehicle…ARTA will require all operators to comply”


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