About time we HOPped to it, isn’t it?
HOP has been in the media again this week, yet we’re still none the wiser as to what’s going on. Word from inside Auckland Transport is there will be an announcement tomorrow, but nothing has filtered through yet as to what that announcement might be.
As much as we can hope it will be the removal of Snapper from the HOP project, that’s unlikely, given Auckland Transport has said that Snapper is to remain on the project. If they were going to cut Snapper, a whole lot of no comment would surely have been in order.
I do note that Labour MP Phil Twyford has said Snapper is trying to get a cash payment from Auckland Transport and they will then voluntarily pull out. Is Auckland Transport going to bill Snapper for the more than half a million dollars that Thales is charging Auckland Transport every month that is project goes over time? I doubt it.
There is another name that’s come out over the past week though. That name is Parkeon. Apparently the other bus companies (Ritchies, Birkenhead Transport et al) are going with Parkeon systems. I guess it makes sense that Ritchies would want to go with the company that makes the system they currently use. And, in fact, word I hear is that Parkeon’s system is able to work with the Thales card and the system is now being put into production. If Parkeon, who have only just been brought into this recently, have been able to successfully get this all done, why hasn’t Snapper been able to? So much for a world class system…
If you ask me who I blame though, it’s not Snapper. It’s Auckland Transport. If they hadn’t allowed NZ Bus to release the inferior HOP with Snapper early, we would be able to at least put out a system for rail and ferry. Now, we’ll either have two cards named HOP that can’t be inter-related, or we’ll have to wait.