17 Sep 2020

Greater Wellington Regional Council considers Snapper bus card rollout on Metlink trains

7:38 pm on 17 September 2020

Wellington's public transport provider is looking to trial the contactless payment card used in its bus network on trains.

Snapper card

The Greater Wellington Regional Council says the investigation phase into a possible rollout of Snapper cards on rail should be completed by next year. Photo: SUPPLIED / GWRC

The Greater Wellington Regional Council voted today to look at whether it would be feasible to roll out the Snapper cards on Metlink's rail services.

It said this investigation phase should be completed by about March next year.

The council said Covid-19 showed the need for safe contactless payment methods across the entire network sooner rather than later.

It said Snapper could be swapped out for a national ticketing system when one is implemented in the future.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said no communities would be left behind if Snapper did roll out to rail.

"As we explore extending Snapper, we'll test and trial what works and what doesn't with our passengers and communities across the region," Gallacher said.

"Our goal is to encourage as many people to use public transport and to make sure that off-board cash payment options remain available for customers needing such options."

On Metlink's buses, about 80 percent of fares are paid using Snapper. It is estimated 15 percent of Metlink rail fares are paid onboard using cash with paper tickets still used as the primary fare collection method.

On ferry, about 11 percent of boardings are paid for by onboard cash payments.

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