Metlink is to roll out interim electronic payment by Snapper across the rest of the region’s rail network in November, as part of the transition to the National Ticketing Solution. This follows a successful trial on the Johnsonville Line.
“Four out of every five passengers on the Johnsonville line now pay by Snapper, a big thumbs up and the best possible basis for extending electronic payment throughout the Metlink rail network,” says Metlink General Manager Samantha Gain.
The Johnsonville Line’s Snapper on Rail pilot began last November, providing the opportunity for Greater Wellington to get to grips with the physical, operational and passenger requirements needed for an electronic ticketing future on its rail network.
“Within three months more than 80 per cent of passengers had adopted the new system. We are delighted by their ringing endorsement of the service.”
The Regional Council now plans to roll out Snapper across the Kapiti line in early November and then across the Hutt Valley, Melling and Wairarapa lines in late November, a process that will require the installation of Snapper validators at all stations.
“Snapper on Rail is a key step in Metlink’s transition to the future National Ticketing Solution, enabling passengers to experience the same electronic payment method used on Wellington’s buses. Its broader roll out will facilitate a cultural shift by rail customers to electronic ticketing and enable a smoother transition to the NTS,” says regional council chair Cr. Daran Ponter (photo above.)
“The bottom line is that international and local experience shows that customers increasingly prefer and use cash-free methods of payment for public transport.
“Our focus is on providing better services to passengers and, in our regular customer satisfaction survey, passengers tell us that convenience of paying is an area we can improve on with 68% of rail passengers currently satisfied compared to 78% with our bus passengers. Clearly there’s room for improvement here and Snapper on rail will have a profound impact,”
Extension of Snapper across the network will bring other benefits, says Transport Committee chair Cr. Roger Blakeley.
“Customers will benefit from access to fare discounts and the convenience of not having to buy a paper ticket. Many also prefer to use electronic payment to track and manage their travel budgets, and often, that of their dependents. And as we’ve seen during covid we need to have safe contactless methods of payment available across the region’s network.”