Just another $80 Million
The Greater Wellington Regional Council is budgeting to spend more than 80 million dollars over the next decade on an integrated electronic ticketing system, when critics say there’s a similar system already being used on more than half the buses in the region and in taxis and shops.
Right now Wellington Bus uses the Snapper electronic ticketing system, and Snapper have indicated they could roll that system out to cover all public transport across the Wellington region at a tiny percentage of the proposed GWRC cost.
However, Peter Glensor, at GWRC told Capital Times that the proposed integrated ticketing system must be owned by the GWRC as the independent funder and manager of the Metlink network which covers all the Wellington region’s buses and trains and the across harbour ferry. He says the council had very specific requirements in terms of access to and use of revenue, patronage and travel data.
Glensor says Snapper will have the opportunity to tender for the new system, but did not explain GWRC’s need for a new system. The GWRC’s Long Term Plan surprisingly does not clearly show any cost benefit analysis of its own electronic ticketing plan. No figures are given linking the spending to any specific outcome. The only patronage figures in the plan relate to rail.
The plan notes that the capital cost of its Snapper equivalent is $39 million. We could not find anywhere the more than $40 million required in operating costs over ten years, these financial details came instead from GWRC’s annual public transport plan.
Snapper says the only cost involved in expanding its system is the present five to 10 cents which it charges on each ticket it sells. It says this is a smaller cost to public transport suppliers than the cost of handling cash.