Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced that all public transport in New Zealand will use a single payment system called the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) from 2024.
The system will apply to all bus, train and ferry services regardless of where you are in the country which the Government hopes will make public transport more affordable, easier and attractive to use.
One benefit of NTS is convenience, says Wood, as payment can be conducted using contactless debit or credit cards, as well as digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay.
A pre-paid transit card will also still be available to use, replacing the likes of Auckland Transport’s HOP cards and Wellington’s Snapper cards.
“This new 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,” says Wood.
“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.”
Fare prices will be determined by local transport authorities.
NTS will be based on Cubic Corporation’s Transport Platform which is said to have proven real-world experience in delivering public transport solutions.
A contract has already been made between Waka Kotahi and Cubic to implement the system.
A participation agreement has also been made between Public Transport Authorities, Auckland Transport, 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,” added Wood.
“Through improved access and increased patronage of public transport, roads will become less congested, safer and we will reduce our emissions.”
NTS will be rolled out in stages across different public transport authorities in the coming years, with Canterbury being the first in 2024.