Where has the Family Rail Pass Gone?

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The new AT Hop card is finally being rolled out on October 28th, but what is happening with the Family Pass?

The Maxx website is still advertising the $24 daily pass:

Unlimited train travel. Available after 9.00am on weekdays and anytime on the weekends and public holidays. Family consists of 1 adult and up to 5 children or 2 adults and up to 4 children travelling together. (Note: the group must include at least one child aged under 16 without ID, or between 16 and 19 years with a valid Student ID card)

But associated with the rollout, this is now only available from manned stations – Britomart, New Lynn and Newmarket. You can’t get the ticket from the new Thales vending machines.

This is ridiculous – no family will be able to afford a day out by train.

And this policy disadvantages any family that doesn’t live near the three stations mentioned. For instance a family of 5 wanting to travel from the new Manukau Station to Britomart return will have to pay  ($6.80 x 2) + ($4 x 3) = $25.60 x 2 = $51.20 return!  The same family of 5 going from Britomart to Manukau return could get the $24 family pass.

Incidentally, Sydney offers the Family Funday Sunday where,  for $2.50 per person, your family can enjoy a fun day out with unlimited travel on Sydney’s buses, trains, light rail and ferries every Sunday.

Come on Auckland Transport – please sort this out by the time the Santa Parade comes to town.

 

Just Get It In

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Our call to roll out the Thales ticketing solution to trains and ferries has been reported by the Herald:

“This is a $98 million project which has been going on for three years – they need to get it in.”

He said Auckland Transport was losing too much revenue on increasingly crowded trains under its paper ticketing system, which would be stemmed by electronic gates at main stations under the new scheme.

Trains suffered a 5.5 per cent fall in patronage last month compared with June of last year, and a 2.9 per cent decline in May.

But Mr Pitches feared branding would be a serious problem, given that Snapper had the Hop imprint on its bus cards, leading to confusion if train and ferry passengers were issued with rival tickets bearing the same name.

The dispute with Snapper shouldn’t delay things any further than it has.

Snapper Refute Allegations

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Snapper have responded to the alleged breaches of the Auckland integrated ticketing participation agreement with a press release available on Scoop.

On 18th June 2012, Snapper received a notice from Auckland Transport, alleging various breaches of the participation agreement and a claim for damages. The basis of these claims has not been clarified and the notice incorporates a number of significant errors and inaccuracies. Infratil and Snapper strongly refute the allegations made and we will make our response to the detailed claims known as appropriate.

The release contains a useful outline of the players involved, and also calls into question the readiness of another supplier, Parkeon.

Hop Card Legal Action

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As covered over at Transportblog, the lawyers have been called in in order to get Snapper to make their system fully compliant with the Hop system. Let’s hope this can be sorted out without further delay.

When The Bus Fails to Arrive

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There is nothing more frustrating than waiting at a wet bus stop for a bus that never arrives.  That happened this morning to me with the 024.

I probably should complain to the Maxx call centre but I really can’t be bothered, because:

  • I have to wait for 10 days before I get a response
  • I can predict the answer – late running for the previous service, driver sick etc, etc.
  • There is no confirmation that the problem won’t happen again

What I really want is some kind of compensation for the inconvenience. I’m aware that bus operators are financially penalised for a late running service, but this doesn’t help the hapless commuter that is half an hour late for work. Penalties are paid to Auckland Transport – wouldn’t it be better if the actual customers were compensated?

With the advent of the Hop card and the ability to top up online, surely now there is the ability to compensate the people that are inconvenienced by the delay or no-show of a service.  I’m thinking a flat rate of $5 should just about cover it, credited to my Hop card from Auckland Transport. This will incentivise people to phone in and complain, and hopefully we can even get some stats on the number of complaints and the amount of compensation paid to customers.

In the monthly reports, bus operators and Auckland Transport and the bus operators claim 99% reliability, so let’s see them put their money where their mouth is.


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