Comment by Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer:
The biggest project failure by the Auckland Council so far has been its utter failure to deliver integrated ticketing for public transport. Two years ago Mayor Len Brown campaigned to sort it out once and for all, and in fact having it "operational for the Rugby World Cup" was his fifth priority in his ‘100 projects in 100 days’.
Those 100 days came and went, so too did the Rugby World Cup, the contractual timeframe elapsed for the current Snapper system on the 650 NZ Buses to be compatible with a new universal HOP card system being developed by Thales, the Mayor then reached for the lawyers, Auckland Transport threatened to sue and in turn now Snapper reportedly wants money to walk.
Both are now in secret discussions, with one card that can be used on buses, ferries and trains still a pipe dream despite the contract to French company Thales being awarded way back in 2009. The suggestion now that there may have to be two Hop cards in the foreseeable future - one for NZ Buses and the other for rail and ferries - is just pathetic.
This fiasco of the first order was set to cost $98m, but that’s already blowing out with hundreds of thousands now being spent every month on service provider fees, contractors, consultants, and legal bills. How hard can it be so hard for one council to deliver one card? Sort it out Mr Mayor!
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