Metlink has announced that a new electronic ticketing system has been launched on the Wellington rail network, giving all its train customers a contactless, electronic payment option for the first time.
Following a successful 12-month trial on the Johnsonville line, Snapper on Rail went live on the Kāpiti line on 12 November 2022 and will become available for Melling, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa trains from 27 November 2022.
Paper ticket sales at stations will cease on 31 December 2022, but rail customers without the new payment system’s cards will still be able to pay their fares on-board with cash. With the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) expected to be launched in Wellington in 2026, this new ticketing solution will provide customers with an interim electronic payment option.
Transport Minister Michael Wood said: “Metlink, with the support of Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency), is preparing Wellington rail users for the NTS, which will further expand electronic payment options to contactless debit and credit cards, digital methods as well as a pre-paid transit card. Making fares easier and more convenient to pay will encourage more people to use public transport, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.”
“Our passengers have long called for smart ticketing on trains,” said Greater Wellington Deputy Chair Adrienne Staples. “We’re confident the convenience of Snapper on Rail will increase patronage towards our mode shift target. Greater Wellington is aiming for a 40 per cent rise in public transport use and active travel modes, like cycling, by 2030.”
Metlink General Manager Samantha Gain said: “Train fares paid with Snapper receive the same discount previously applied to ten-trip tickets. Concessions for children, tertiary students and accessibility customers continue to be available.”
In total, the new contactless ticketing system costs $18 million, including $10 million for ongoing operating costs. About half of the $8 million set-up cost is for infrastructure and civil works that will not be re-incurred for the NTS.