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New Zealand Unveils National Ticketing Solution for Public Transport

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The Minister of Transport, Michael Woods, announced the new National Ticketing Solution (NTS) contract has been signed. It provides a single payment system and a range of easy-to-use payment methods for public transport, including buses, trains, and ferries. The NTS will be rolled out in a stage process across the different public transport authorities, starting with Environment Canterbury in 2024.

The government is committed to making it more affordable, easier, and attractive for citizens to use public transport. Through investments it is delivering linked-up public transport networks across the country that help people get to where they want to go, a statement wrote. When implemented, the NTS will offer a wide range of benefits to public transport users. The payment system will be convenient, easy to use, and offer a consistent customer experience, Woods claimed.

Citizens will be able to choose what payment method works best for them. They will be able to pay for public transport using contactless debit or credit cards, as well as digital payment methods, while still offering the option of using a pre-paid transit card.

The technology will allow daily, weekly, and monthly fare caps to be applied to travel automatically, meaning customers will be charged the best possible fare at the end of each day. “It will also mean that when travelling to a new town, people will be able to pay using what’s already in their pocket, rather than having to buy a transit card specific to that region or fumble for cash,” Woods explained.

The NTS will be an enabler for change. To encourage public transport as the preferred travel choice for more people, more often, the government must invest in modern technologies to improve the customer experience, he noted.

The NTS will be launched by the Transport Agency in collaboration with a private player. A participation agreement has also been finalised between the Public Transport Authorities, Auckland Transport, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, and a Regional Consortium of ten smaller councils, to deliver the solution.

The local authorities saw the benefits that the NTS can provide to the decarbonisation and economic development of their regions. Through improved access and increased patronage of public transport, roads will become less congested, and safer, and the country will reduce emissions, Wood said.

Under the national government climate-change work programme, the country targets reducing net emissions by 50% below 2005 gross emissions for the period 2021-30. Cities across New Zealand are investing in green alternatives to achieve these goals. In April, Auckland launched two fully electric ferries. As OpenGov Asia reported, the ferries can reach a top speed of 25 knots (on par with today’s diesel ferries) with a range of 40 kilometres.

More recently, the Wellington City Council added 24 more electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet, in a bid to replace all fossil-fuel-powered-passenger vehicles with electric alternatives by 2030. By August, there were 40 EVs for staff to use for daily operations.

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