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The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), in conjunction with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), today announced the next step in the delivery of an integrated ticketing system for Auckland’s train, bus and ferry users with the selection of a preferred tender.
ARTA’s Chairman, Rabin Rabindran says, “This is a critical next step in the delivery of an integrated ticket for use on Auckland’s public transport system opening the door to greater ease of public transport use by our customers. Having a smartcard in your pocket will be like having the keys to Auckland’s public transport system.
“In conjunction with NZTA we will be holding detailed negotiations with our preferred tenderer over the next few months and, subject to final confirmation of funding by NZTA, will lead to implementation of the system.
“ARTA’s tender process allows us to incorporate NZTA’s preferred approach including a centralised system and potential contestability of options available for parts of the system”.
Mr Rabindran said, “A consortium made up of French electronics company, Thales, in partnership with the Bank of New Zealand and Transfield services, has been selected by ARTA as the preferred tenderer to deliver New Zealand’s first fully integrated ticketing system for Auckland.
”In selecting a preferred tenderer, ARTA was focused on identifying a best value for money, proven, risk minimised solution. Thales has delivered a proven multi-modal system in more than 100 cities around the world including; Paris, Toronto, Oslo and The Netherlands. The company offers a proven solution thus minimising any development, implementation and operating risk.
“The solution is technically mature both in respect of customer use as well as an operator business system. Their offer was flexible, that is able to adapt to changes and developments in ARTA’s public transport offering. It is also extensible in respect of its ability to move into small payments most particularly with the BNZ as banking partner, e.g. parking meter charges and small retail payments.
“All tenders were price competitive and tendered prices successfully benchmarked to similar recent international projects.
“In respect of price, final commercial terms are still to be negotiated. Funding is expected to be a mix of regional, NZTA funding and private financing.”
Mr Rabindran says, “The benefits of an integrated ticketing system to our customers are numerous. There will be no need for our customers to carry cash or to have the right change. There will be no need to have a wallet full of different tickets for different operators.
“Currently, each public transport operator has its own individual multi-trip and concession tickets, which can’t be used on another operator’s service. Often the tickets and concessions differ depending on the operator providing them, which is simply the way the system has evolved in Auckland.
“Boarding times will be faster for our customers because fares won’t have to be collected. The ticket will be a swipe on/ swipe off system. Faster boarding times will mean ARTA has the potential to put on more frequent services. Having a smartcard means ease of transfer for commuters between different bus operators, train and ferry services.
“An integrated ticketing system also has the potential to offer some very attractive fare reductions in comparison to cash purchase of tickets.
“The system will include automated gates, smartcard readers onboard buses and ferries, smartcard reload devices at selected rail and bus stations and ferry wharves, and the supply of all computer hardware, software, networks and communications”.
Mr Rabindran says the system will be similar to London’s Oyster system and Hong Kong’s Octopus system. Like Oyster, ARTA plans to initially implement core functions and progressively phase in additional functionality.
Background to suppliers
Thales delivers information systems and services for the aerospace, defence and security markets. Thales was founded in 2000 and has its headquarters in Paris. A Thales Group will be established in Auckland to deliver the ticket.
The Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand’s longest established banking institution with just under 150 years of banking history in New Zealand.
Transfield services deliver essential services to key infrastructure including telecommunications, the electricity sector and the roading sector.