Smart ticketing, the customer-oriented integration of traditional and digital payment solutions, is now a key technology in public transport worldwide. Transport companies are increasingly recognising the advantages these systems offer. Recently, nine New Zealand regions commissioned INIT with the installation, technical operation and maintenance of such a ticketing system. A project that is unique in many respects – setting standards with regard to its geographical spread, the climatic conditions and range of ordered items and services.
NZ Transport Agency, a Crown entity responsible for public transport in New Zealand, decided to introduce a national ticketing system several years ago. The National Ticketing Programme (NTP) was set up to introduce a solution that optimally combines the requirements of the regional public transport companies, the individual operators and the wishes of passengers. The first step on the road to a nationwide ticketing system is the current order from nine regions to use a common fare management system. The Otago Regional Council is leading this mammoth project. Also involved are the Northland Regional Council, Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Taranaki Regional Council, Nelson City Council and Invercargill City Council.
The service areas of the nine regions cover large parts of New Zealand and extend a distance of more than 1,500 kilometres from north to south. Very different climatic zones are crossed, from semi-desert on the North Island to the cool Fiordland on the South Island. However, it is not only the geographical spread and climatic conditions that make this major order somewhat special for INIT, but also the technical requirements.
The nine regions have set the goal of constructing and launching New Zealand’s most modern ticketing system by June 2018. They need a reliable ticketing platform that meets their requirements with regard to planning, operations control and reporting. In addition, they want to increase passenger satisfaction and benefit from operational synergies.
444 buses, 23 depots, 54 stationary and many mobile sales points will be equipped with new hardware and software. Passengers should then be able to buy tickets conventionally with cash and online, but also via credit on a smart card. The transport operators of the nine New Zealand regions are using the EVENDpc2 PC-based ticket printers and on-board computers as well as the PROXmobile3 passenger terminals in vehicles. The devices support all forms of modern electronic fare management and offer drivers and passengers maximum ease of use. The high-performance, multi-client capable back-office system MOBILEvario handles ticket management and clearing. This enables the various transport companies involved to manage tariffs, customer data, revenues, and their individual user data in one central system.
INIT will assume responsibility not only for the entire data management but also for financial processing, right up to the allocation of sales proceeds among the individual public transport operators. The comprehensive service package includes round-the-clock software support, hosting of the central systems, technical operation, maintenance of the systems and hardware repair if required. For this purpose, INIT will set up a service desk in New Zealand and train service partners on the islands.