The NZ Transport Agency Board has agreed to establish a national ticketing programme for public transport in New Zealand, and has approved funding for the development of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority's integrated ticketing and fares systems as a first step.
The NZ Transport Agency Board has agreed to establish a national ticketing programme for public transport in New Zealand, and has approved funding for the development of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s integrated ticketing and fares systems as a first step.
Integrated ticketing is a critical component for any well-functioning public transport system. It makes public transport easier to use by allowing passengers to travel across a city using different modes of public transport with a single ticket. It offers flexibility and convenience for passengers, making public transport a more attractive option.
NZTA Board Chair Brian Roche said the development of a national integrated ticketing system would maximise returns on future investments in public transport in New Zealand and deliver the best possible benefits for users.
Mr Roche said as a first step in the development of the national ticketing programme the Board had approved funding for the Auckland Integrated Fares System (AIFS), including the development of a core central ticketing system.
“This is a long term investment in the future of public transport for New Zealand. We are investing in a strategic asset that will provide a world-class integrated ticketing solution for Auckland and form the backbone of an efficient, high-quality and value for money national ticketing programme for public transport in New Zealand.”
Mr Roche said control of the central system would give the NZTA a valuable source of data to inform future investments in public transport, and provide the ability to allow inter-operability and the option for multiple equipment suppliers and operators to participate in the system.
The NZTA will also be responsible for setting the technical standards for operation to be met by all equipment suppliers, transport operators and regional councils.
Mr Roche said it was critical that there be opportunities for multiple private sector providers to be fully engaged in the various technologies that facilitate a functioning integrated ticketing system. The system will be flexible enough to allow future technologies and electronic ticket providers to connect to the central system provided they meet the technical standards defined by the NZTA, with individual public transport operators able to decide which electronic ticketing equipment best meets their business needs. The NZTA’s 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.
Mr Roche said the agency had worked closely with ARTA on a rigorous investigation of different delivery options since ARTA’s announcement of their preferred tenderer in July.
“The Board is satisfied that the system being proposed by the preferred tenderer will provide an efficient, high-quality and value for money integrated ticketing solution for Auckland and for a national ticketing programme in the future.”
Mr Roche said the funding approval was provisional and subject to a number of conditions. These include the transfer of the rights to all of the integrated ticketing central system functions to the NZTA and a requirement for the NZTA to approve the specifications and standards for the central system, as well as overall system interface specifications and card standards. While the NZTA Board has provided ARTA with specific provisional funding levels, details cannot be disclosed while ARTA’s negotiations with their preferred tenderer are still underway.
“We’re investing public money in a long term strategic asset, and we’re committed to ensuring that we get the best possible return on that investment. NZTA will continue working closely with ARTA in the months ahead as they negotiate with their preferred tenderer. At the same time NZTA will continue to engage with a range of technology and transport operators to ensure that their preferences with respect to electronic ticketing are advanced both in Auckland and nationally. This will be important to ensure that the technical standards and issues of interoperability are developed cooperatively.”