Joining a growing number of cities worldwide, the Auckland Regional Council has given the green light for implementation of an integrated contactless payments solution for its public transport services. The contract for the solution encompassing New Zealand’s largest city’s train, bus and ferry services has been awarded to French electronics systems developer Thales.
“Auckland will receive a proven, multi-modal and multi-operator system leveraging some of the best fare collection systems already in operation in the world including Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Dubai,” commented Rabin Rabindran, chairman of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).
Rabindran was referring to contactless public transport ticketing solutions implemented by Thales in Hong Kong (Octopus), the Netherlands (national OV Chipkaart) and in Dubai for the emirate’s first public rail service. Other contactless payments projects in which Thales has played the key role include those in Beijing, Madrid, Bangkok, Paris and New Delhi.
In the Auckland contactless payments implementation Thales and Octopus will work together with Octopus supplying the core central clearing house system. As with Octopus’ Hong Kong payments system, Auckland’s will be extendable to small contactless payments, parking meter charges and small retail charges.
On the cost of the project Rabindran said that it has been the subject of considerable media interest with a figure of up to NZ$135 million ($100 million) bandied about. He added that the actual capital cost of the project is NZ$47 million.