Integrated Ticketing Milestone


Moves towards national integrated public transport ticketing have taken a big step forward today with the development of a key agreement between the NZTA and ticketing system providers.

The agreement paves the way for the creation of a set of national standards for integrated public transport ticketing.

National operating standards define how the central core of a national system will function as well as how operator equipment such as on-board bus ticketing machines will interact with that system.

Organisations that have reached agreement are

  • ARTA
  • KiwiRail
  • Snapper
  • Thales
  • Bus and Coach Association
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Electronic Ticketing Systems
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council
  • Init Pty Ltd
  • HTS Group

NZTA’s Dave Brash says this will ensure the best possible system for public transport consumers, transport operators, regional councils and the government.

The group now move forwards co-operatively to progress the creation of National Standards by the end of the year.

“This standards approach will enable us to establish a long-term integrated national system that regions throughout New Zealand can cost-effectively link into,” says Mr Brash.

Auckland will be the first region in New Zealand to adopt the national integrated ticketing system.

“It opens the door to contestability on transport ticketing equipment while ensuring the development of a cost-effective, nationally-integrated system.”

Another big advantage of an integrated ticketing system will be the ability to easily collect common data about public transport usage. This will enable better long term planning  for routes and funding, which will result in a more efficient and cost-effective public transport system.

The national standards process is being assisted by Dutch specialists, Collis, who have also been involved with the development of other multi-modal integrated card systems in Europe and Dubai.




  1. Scott says:

    “national integrated ticketing system” wow, I thought it was just for Auckland, it will be excellent to (after the roll out period) be able to use my smart card on buses and trains etc in different city’s. Anybody know if it will work for small retail transactions like Hong Kong’s octopus card?

  2. greenwelly says:

    If you have a look at this from 8 months ago,

    I Think what they are talking about here is the “national data warehouse”.

    Each region will run their own “clearing house” in terms of payments, so while the hardware will share common standards, I don’t think anyone is proposing a “national clearing house” for transactions.

    I suspect you will not be able to use a card with Auckland $$$ on it in other regions, unless that region has an agreement with the Auckland clearing house.

    I think the ability to undertake small non-transport payments will be at the discretion of each region,

  3. Nick R says:

    Snapper certainly are very keen on the small transactions. If I understand correctly their business model is about using bus tickets as the loss leader to get cards into peoples wallets, then building up the non-transport sales as a sort of alternative to eftpos.

    Presumably with a national standard one could used stored value to buy tickets nationwide, but not passes or other fare products.

  4. joust says:

    see the April Briefing document to the Transport select committee:

    It has a basic architecture diagram on the 4th page.

    Not sure about cards/regions interoperability though.

  5. Paul says:

    “National” standards, now that’s a think big idea. Good on them.

  6. Matt says:

    As far as Snapper’s ticket-purchasing being a stealth way of getting the card into peoples’ wallets before moving on to using it for minor purchases, consider that NZ already has a credit card-sized transaction card present in the wallets of nearly every person in the country: EFTPOS. Snapper will be really pushing it uphill to replace debit cards as the currency of choice in NZ, unless it’s compatible with EFTPOS terminals. Which is incredibly unlikely.

  7. Nick R says:

    Check this out Matt:

    They list “EFTPOS and BNZ” as one of their partners. And have you seen the terminals they’ve set up in Wellington stores?

  8. Brent C says:

    They have snapper key rings as well. Its not all eftpos sized cards. Heck, soon, integrated ticketing will be inserted into our wrists!

    Do you know how long it takes to buy something with eftpos compared to snapper? I can tell you the latter is a whole lot faster.

  9. karl says:

    Sounds good to me. As long as we don’t end up with a monopoly dictating their usage terms to us (or more to the point, a PRIVATE company monopoly dictating to us our PUBLIC transport terms), I am happy with this. So a national standard should be good for preventing that from happening.

  10. Nick R says:

    Snapper might lose out on the point of sale thing, here is Australia they have already rolled out contactless Visa/Mastercard eftpos, where for purchaces under $50 you simply wave your card in front of a panel at the till.

  11. karl says:

    Will the standard PREVENT that use, Nick R?

    Even if it does, with miniaturisation, what is preventing snapper from bundling a contactless PURCHASE card with a contactless PT card in one package and call it “SOMETHING-CARD+” ?

    Sure, that wouldn’t combine billing in one package, but it would work, I think.


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