Wellington Scoop

Search starts to find single-payment technology for public transport

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
A single way to pay for your bus, train or ferry service is a step closer today following the call for interest from the market to provide a national integrated ticketing solution using world-leading technology.

“Wellington is working with other public transport authorities across the country and the New Zealand Transport Agency to deliver a state-of-then-art way of paying for travel on buses, trains and ferries,” says Barbara Donaldson, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Sustainable Transport Committee. “We’re particularly excited to be the first region to go-live with the new system in the next couple of years.”

“Providing a fully integrated ticketing system is a key part of our transformation of Wellington’s Metlink public transport network and our customers tell us they want a single way to pay on all Metlink services, because it will make their travel and their lives simpler.

“People are used to using a single card or a phone to pay for a range of services and products. We need to keep up with their expectations, otherwise we risk losing customers to other forms of transport. The easier we make it for customers the more they will use public transport, and that’s good for our communities and the environment, and will help reduce pressure on our roads.

“The new system will support new fares and concessions that allow customers to move seamlessly between Metlink services.

“A single national ticketing system means we can get rid of duplication across councils and costs are shared with a range of organisations, which is good for ratepayers. Smaller councils will get access to an advanced ticketing system they might never have been able to manage alone.

“It’s been a long and complex project getting to this point but the benefits to customers of having a single, national way to pay for public transport will be ground-breaking in New Zealand.

“In the interim, we’re about to introduce Snapper as the single electronic payment system on all Metlink buses across Greater Wellington.”

Press Release – Project NEXT
The journey to make it easier to pay for your bus, train and ferry is a step closer today with local and internationally based organisations being invited to register their interest in providing a next generation, national public transport ticketing solution for New Zealand. The invitation was issued by Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) on behalf of the Project NEXT group which is managing the project and is comprised of GWRC, Auckland Transport, Environment Canterbury, the nine regional councils who provide public transport services in New Zealand and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Wayne Hastie, Chair of the Project Steering Group and General Manager Public Transport GWRC, says: “The proposed national solution offers a vastly improved customer experience to what we have today. It will give customers the ability to pay for their public transport in most places in New Zealand using their mobile phone, credit or debit card, or a single nationally issued transit card.

“We live in a time of rapidly changing and expanding technology choices available to people. Ease of payment for public transport is an area where customer preferences and expectations are increasing rapidly. New Zealanders expect to be able to choose how they pay for their transport choices.

“Currently there are approximately 16 different ticketing systems operating in New Zealand which are costly to maintain and provide little choice in the way passengers pay for their travel. We’ve found a way of working together that provides a more consistent national experience, while still allowing each area to set its own fares. The larger scale procurement will also save money through economies of scale and avoiding duplication of investment”, says Dr Hastie.

With a national public transport ticketing solution, New Zealand will join a small list of countries in the world such as the Netherlands and Switzerland in providing an integrated public transport solution throughout the country.

Wellington will be the first area to see the new ticketing from 2021, with other parts of the country joining over a 5 year period.


  1. Ian Apperley, 18. June 2018, 17:56

    Where to start… three years before there is new ticketing… And then five years for others… When there is already a simple solution.

    Hear the dinosaurs roar. By the time they get there, PT will be dead.

  2. luke, 18. June 2018, 18:58

    one plus from being so far off the pace is the region can basically skip out the oyster/snapper/myki/opus/octopus style card and move straight to paywave & smartphone apps. Laughable we still clip tickets on trains tho.

  3. NigelTwo, 18. June 2018, 19:05

    Yawn. More regional rates money for their next utopian dream. Remember the “all-electric” bus fleet for Wellington City?

    I understand that Auckland Transport have more experience with integrated ticketing (HOP card) than GWRC who haven’t actually done it yet. Please enlighten me!

  4. greenwelly, 18. June 2018, 21:13

    Auckland Transport and NZTA spent over $100 million on HOP that was supposed to be a National ticketing solution, Then all the other councils got cold feet. The current “stored value” systems work because the interest on the float helps to keep the thing running without external funding,

    Will it be cheaper to run than what exists now? What is the budget for this pie in the sky solution? who is going to pay for it?

  5. Cr Daran Ponter, 19. June 2018, 13:27

    @NigelTwo – this is a completely different ticketing system to the Auckland HOP card, and interestingly Auckland are looking to migrate to the solution being advanced for Wellington. Long overdue. Very pleased that this is finally under way.

  6. Cr Daran Ponter, 19. June 2018, 13:30

    @Greenwelly. Not quite. NZTA tried to force the HOPCard on Wellington, but by that stage technology had moved on. So GWRC said no and worked to bring the rest of the country into an improved national ticketing solution.

  7. luke, 19. June 2018, 21:42

    it should be easy enough to not need a separate card. Heck, i’ve used my paywave in London but it won’t work here.

  8. Roy Kutel, 20. June 2018, 12:04

    Daran GWRC ‘working’? GWRC employed a $90k a year integrated ticketing policy wonk in the mid 2000s. What has the wonk being working on, apart from stymying NZBus’s Snapper card?

  9. Jonny Utzone, 21. June 2018, 9:37

    It would probably be cheaper to make buses and trains free! But then GWRC analysts, NZTA analysts, WCC policy analysts, revenue accountants, consultants who spend months and months and get paid hundreds of thousands working out what the next fare increase should be (50cents or a dollar), electronic ticketing geeks and ticket inspectors would all be out of a job.

    So do what some German cities are doing – just make it free. And remember, half the people on buses (apart from the driver) are travelling on gold cards and paying zip anyway.

    Hey I might even use a bus myself!