Auckland Transport said today that the roll-out of AT HOP onto bus services will recommence on 13 October with North Star. The roll-out was briefly delayed due to an intermittent technical issue on tag off devices found on Birkenhead Transport buses and issues with Wi-Fi connections in the Birkenhead area.
Auckland Transport’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Edmonds says the organisation’s technology provider, Thales, has identified the problem and tested the solution. “We are now ready to recommence the roll-out”.
The North Star roll-out is planned to be followed by Metrolink, the LINK services, Go West and Waka Pacific from October through until December. The rollout post-Christmas is targeted at Bayes Coachlines early in the New Year followed by Ritchies, Northern Express, Waiheke buses, AT Airporter and Howick & Eastern buses over February and March. Auckland Transport will confirm timings to customers nearer the time for each bus operator.
“The phased approach Auckland Transport has chosen for the roll-out of AT HOP is international best practice in terms of the technological magnitude and scale of integrated ticketing projects. Phasing at this last stage of implementation of the project is a prudent approach and ensures no changes for customers over the busy Christmas period,” says Mr Edmonds.
Mr Edmonds also says that following discussions with customers and key stakeholders on the North Shore, the Northern Pass (including the Northern Pass tertiary products) and the Bayswater/Devonport Pass will be retained until the last bus operator on the North Shore goes live with AT HOP. On bus North Star sales of the Northern Pass will cease on 13 October. Passes can be purchased at retail outlets and at Northern Busway stations.
“This provides a longer transition period to AT HOP for customers of these products, particularly tertiary students. This means the transition period for tertiary students on the North Shore is now beyond this academic year. We are targeting these passes to be phased out in February 2014”, says Mr Edmonds.
The strategic and customer focus for AT HOP provides for simpler fare payment for public transport through the one card across all public transport services. It is one card for all travel across bus, rail and ferry services. As part of the AT HOP rollout, Auckland Transport is looking to align fare prices and discounts across all users across the region, removing historic price anomalies creating one price for all and achieving equity of fare prices for everyone.
Mr Edmonds says, “Currently the region has more than 100 existing fare types and prices, the majority of which can only be used on one operator. Some ticket types that are exclusive to individual operators or geographic locality will be replaced with AT HOP. AT HOP will offer all users at least ten per cent discount off single trip cash fares. AT HOP also offers consistent further discounts for child, student, tertiary, accessible and Super Gold users. AT HOP lays the technology platform across all operators for regional improvements to the public transport fare and ticketing system in Auckland”.