Snapper CEO Replies


Miki Szikszai, Snapper’s CEO, replies to my post on Snapper and Thales: Thanks for taking the trouble to comment.

“Interesting to read your comments on my observations yesterday.

There is no doubt that there will be competition in the market for a ticketing system. It is very clearly on the agenda for NZTA, as they discussed last week.

“We are committed to providing opportunities for multiple private sector providers to be fully engaged in the various technologies that facilitate a functioning integrated ticketing system. Our focus will be on maintaining standards, options, choice and competitive tensions to ensure value for money and improvements in the effectiveness of public transport services. ”

Once everyone is compliant with the standards, then this should come to pass relatively easily. The key is when the standards will be set and the independent process to achieve this. Plenty of water to go under that bridge.

A couple of other points

1. Costs - the $135m was the approved budgets from both NZTA and ARTA last year. Personally I think the total cost will still approach this number. on top of the ~$87m that was disclosed yesterday. On top of that there will be $11m programme cost for civil works for rail and  operators will still have to pay for their own equipment. That’s ~$100m with the bus operator costs probably around $15m. For context we offered this for under $70m.

2. What will be delivered by when - I haven’t seen in public what services will be available when to the travelling public with this development. You could read the announcement yesterday as being the central system will be available for operators to connect to by RWC2011 or that there will be services that the travelling public can use by then. I think that’s unclear at this point.

3. I’m pleased that you’ve got high expectations in regards to the Octopus component - Octopus in Hong Kong is a very slick system. We looked at it carefully before we selected the T-Money technology path. I would take a look at what is in the Netherlands before expecting too much.

The Mifare standard is not well received for payment based systems other than Public Transport due to security concerns.

@Jeremy You may have forgotten our previous conversations at Kiwiblog. The 25 cents goes primarily to the Retailer. Even in the AIFS someone will have to pay retailers if they are used for card top ups. They simply will not do that for free. It will either be the cardholder or the ratepayer.

Personally I am excited about Aucklanders getting excited about Integrated Ticketing. We will have Snapper in place from mid 2010 at no cost to the ratepayer or taxpayer. Aucklanders will be spoiled for choice.”



  1. Cambennett says:

    Seriously,what part of no thanks do these guys not understand? Snapper has lost in the tender process fair and square - twice. All they are doing here is trying to hijack the process for their own gain.

    This will not be a competition Snapper will either be compatable with the Thales system or it will have to go. I guess infratil are banking on Joyce ameneding the PTMA so that they can weasal out of having to be involved in integrated ticketing.

  2. @CamBennett

    You’d best address that comment to NZTA. We’re not hijacking anything.

    They have explicitly stated that they want competition, to the point where operators have the ability to choose a system that best meets their needs.

    As long as the systems meet the NZ standards for interoperability and can deliver the fare policy, its an open market.


  3. She'll be right says:

    I’m a big fan of Snapper. I dont know where I would be without it. It’s a failproof system and as Im going to study in Auckland enxt year, I ‘m thrilled you are bringing it to Auckland. Aucklanders are so up themselves, they don’t know what they are missing

  4. Bryan22 says:

    I can’t understand why the government has let us get into this mess.
    The ARC just want to spend our ratepayers money at a time when we have so many projects needed in Auckland, let alone getting a CBD rail tunnel.
    Snapper has a system that works, proven.
    They could bring it in for the RWC.
    They’re already bringing it into the buses that will carry hundreds of RWC people on holiday and to Eden park.
    So why are we getting a French company to do this?
    Scratching his head…

  5. Worried says:

    I’m impressed that the Snapper CEO is not only answering Jon’s piece but reading our comments.
    That’s such customer service.
    They deserve to succeed.
    I have sent in complaints to the train people here and never had a reply even though i used the feedback forms they handed out.
    Jon, you have been very fair about this issue and I like the way you tried it in Wellington and liked Snapper and also that you changed your mind on Manners Mall by going and seeing for yourself and support the council plans.
    It’s time for the hotheads on other blogs to calm down and accept both systems are coming and as in any good democracy you have the right to choose.
    Personally, i like Snapper.

  6. PukekokeLad says:

    I will laugh through tears if the Thales card has a lot of teething troubles like the Melbourne system you wrote about Jon.
    And then those hailing Thales as the second coming will be forced to find money for the train and a Snapper card for the buses. LOL
    On second thoughts, I hope Snapper find a way to get it working on the trains as well.

  7. RichardB says:

    I use Snapper in Wellington and agree- it is great, and like Jon found out, I use it at Subway some lunchtimes.
    But please get those stupid Wellington council people on board so I can use it on the trains when I have to work some days out at our Lower Hutt office.
    Honestly, local politics is the problem here, not Snapper.

  8. Jon C says:

    This debate is now closed.


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