HOP Starts From May 8


The first phase of Auckland’s new smartcard, HOP, for Auckland’s public transport users, will roll out on May 8.

As mentioned earlier it’s at the end of next year that that all Auckland’s bus, all ferry and all rail will be on the HOP ticket as a one card.
Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton, says,” This is a tremendous step forward in the ever increasing development of Auckland’s public transport system. For the first time in Auckland’s history we are on the move towards a fully integrated multi-operator smartcard with bus, rail and ferry”.
On 8 May HOP cards with a Snapper logo will replace Go Rider cards on North Star buses. The rollout will continue in the following weeks on Go West and Waka Pacific buses then Metrolink and LINK buses. HOP cards will be available from retail outlets from next Monday.

Dr Warburton says, “This first phase of Auckland’s smartcard gives cardholders the convenience of using the same card for everyday purchases with Snapper. NZ Bus has chosen to use Snapper’s equipment to join the HOP scheme, which will be adapted at the end of the year to interoperate with the Thales system when the next phase of the rollout  with rail, some ferry and bus, comes into play.

“Thales is Auckland Transport’s long term provider for Auckland’s smartcard system, chosen out of a strong list of contenders. Thales is supplying design, technology and a system that allows for interoperability. Thales has been involved in ticketing programs for over 40 years with electronic ticketing solutions in operation in more than 100 cities around the world including involvement with Hong Kong’s highly successful Octopus card.

“It is the co-operation between Thales, Auckland Transport and Snapper which will enable Snapper’s equipment, NZ Bus, other transport operators and third parties to connect to Auckland Transport’s central system which is provided by Thales. We are also very appreciative of the ongoing support from the New Zealand Transport Agency”.

Auckland Mayor, Len Brown, says, “The HOP card and integrated ticketing is one of the keys to continuing the surge in the growth in public transport patronage in Auckland. It is just another measure we are taking to make public transport more convenient, cost effective, comfortable and faster. More people now use public transport than at any time in the past 60 years - I am determined we can double current patronage in the foreseeable future and the HOP card is one way we will do that”.

Snapper’s CEO, Miki Szikszai, says. “Snapper is pleased to support Auckland Transport in their deployment of the HOP system. Snapper’s expertise in ticketing equipment, smartcards, logistics and customer support are being used to make Phase 1 of HOP happen. We think users of HOP cards will also quickly embrace the additional benefits of using these cards through the entire Snapper network for retail and taxis in Auckland and everywhere in New Zealand where they see the Snapper sign”

NZ Bus Chief Executive, Zane Fulljames says, “This is an exciting time for NZ Bus, we’re delighted to be working in partnership to introduce the first step towards integrated ticketing in Auckland. We appreciate this is going to be a period of change for our customers. We are confident they will quickly adapt to HOP and realize the benefits of faster boarding and improved reliability”.

Dr. Warburton says, “Following the roll out of HOP on all NZ Bus services, the next phase of the rollout, Phase Two, will be near the end of the year using the Thales system. This phase will include the addition of rail and the Devonport ferry service. The third and final phase will roll out in 2012 which will see all rail, ferry services and bus services integrated onto a single card”.

“I am very pleased with the pace and progress being made on this important transport project. The first multi-modal, multi-operator functionality will be rolled out towards the end of 2011, 20 months from the signing of the contract”.





  1. Matt says:

    End of next year (2012) or end of 2013? I thought it was the latter for the completion of deployment.

  2. Jon C says:

    AT says on the link in the post: At the end of 2012- all bus, all ferry and all rail are on the HOP ticket- all powered by Thales technology.

  3. Jacky says:

    Hey guys
    Sounds like they are releasing early… It was on the Albany Westfield today and they are selling it today too…

  4. Jon C says:

    @Jacky Thanks for the update! Did you see anyone buying one?

  5. Sam says:

    I got my hop card today. I got it topped up at the ‘Fix’ convenience store at the civic, which I imagine due to it’s location is one of the busiest top up locations. The shop assistant said Hop could only hold trips, not stored value- but most alarming was when his snapper machine asked to specify which operator I intended to use my rides on (waka pacific, northstar, metrolink or northstar). The assistant said that he topped up snapper cards in the same way, but a stored value option also appeared on the operator list on his screen only with the original snapper cards.

    After I showed him the relevant text in the hop pamphlet, he had to make a call and I had to wait 10 minutes for him to get taught how to top up a hop card with stored value- a completely different process to topping up snapper or putting multi ride trips on a Hop.

    I find it alarming that although he had been specifically trained to use hop, no-one in the busy store could actually put stored value on the card, and did not believe it was possible. It’s obvious that the public is already very confused about the whole hop situation- and this misinformation being shared due to inadequate training is the icing on the cake 5 days before launch. How many other shop assistants have not been trained in Auckland?

    This experience also highlights that hop is not just a snapper with a different picture on the front- it was recognized as a hop by the snapper reader in store, and stored value was not available for hop when topped up like a snapper. I’m very confused!

  6. Emma says:

    There was a young woman at the Constellation Drive Bus Station this morning in HOP branded clothing and bag, trying to get people to get a HOP card from her, and telling commuters that Go-Rider cards would be invalid and unusable after Sunday 8th: either confused about HOP being *functional* from 8 May or simply going for the “lie to the consumers” angle. If the hired staff are confused about what’s going on then there’s little hope for the rest of us.

  7. Scott says:

    @Sam, Hopefully they will learn quick :) .

    I added stored value to my hop today at a convinance store opposite the civic (near the B-line stop). The process was quick and easy.

    Unfortiniatly the bus ticket retailer at Auckland Uni has snapper equptment that is not yet operational for some reason.

  8. Gus says:


    But that’s correct… There’s no period where both Hop and Go Rider cards can be used. In order to install the new ticketing hardware for Hop the old machines (the ones that take the Go Rider card currently) are removed, presumably overnight on the 7th/8th May.

    From the first service on Sunday 8th May, no North Star buses will be able to accept Go Rider cards - only Hop or cash.

  9. Rageaholic says:

    @Gus: is it only North Shore where the Go Rider cards will not be accepted? I am on the isthmus and have enough trips on mine to last past the 8th, this is the first I’ve heard that I may not be able to use it!

    So very confused.

  10. Scott says:

    Rageaholic, Yes, only North star on the 8th. Change over dates are here:


    Assuming you use metrolink services that means that the date your go-rider will be obsolete is the 6th of June.

    Wven if you have trips left on your go rider after that date you can still have them transferred to your hop card at some malls, the Istmus transfer locations are: “Wednesday 1 June – Saturday 11 June 2011​,’Westfield St Lukes, Westfield 277 Newmarket”


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