Need an AT HOP Card to get Super Gold concessions
The Ministry of Transport has a work paper out on the changes to Super Gold concession that do affect users in Auckland using the public transport system. The paper as a PDF can be seen HERE. But what is most interesting was the following on Super Gold holders needing an AT HOP card from next year to gain Super Gold concessions. That is a paper ticket no longer counts and you will be charged full adult fares regardless of time.
The extract concerning the change:
What are regionally integrated smartcards?
Regionally integrated smartcards are electronic travel cards which can be used to access all public transport services within a region. The cards also enable the collection of transport data to assist with future planning.
Why is the Government proposing card holders use smartcards?
The use of regionally integrated smartcards, such as the AT HOP card in Auckland, will ensure accurate data is collected on the use of the Scheme by SuperGold cardholders. This will help future transport planning and provide a better understanding of the costs of the Scheme to regional councils. It will also ensure access to the Scheme is as efficient and simple as possible for SuperGold cardholders.
When would I need to purchase a smartcard?
Regional councils will inform SuperGold cardholders when they need to obtain the relevant regional smartcard to access SuperGold Card travel; for example in Otago this is already the case. In the meantime you will continue to be able to access free off-peak travel using the same method as at present. If you live in Auckland you will need to use the AT HOP card to access SuperGold Card travel from 1 July 2016. (meaning you will no longer able to get a Super Gold paper ticket from an AT HOP machine)
Why would cardholders have to pay for their own smartcards?
The Government considered whether smartcards could be issued to each SuperGold cardholder free of charge. The cost was found to be prohibitive as funding cards through the Scheme would divert a substantial amount of funding from providing travel through the Scheme. However, the cost of a smartcard to an individual is small compared to the overall benefits they receive through the Scheme.
Will different regions have different cards in use?
Yes. As regionally integrated smartcards are brought in regionally, SuperGold cardholders will need to purchase a regionally integrated smartcard for travel within that region. Over time these may become nationally integrated.
Will old cards no longer work after a period of time?
From July 2016 the Scheme will not be able to be accessed using a SuperGold Card in areas where regionally integrated smartcards are in use. The regional council in a particular area will be able to inform SuperGold cardholders about the type of card they need to access the Scheme.
How much would a smartcard cost?
Smartcards are likely to cost between $5 to $10 per card. The amount charged by individual regional councils will depend on their policy.
When would SuperGold cardholders need to get a smartcard?
SuperGold cardholders would need to purchase a regionally integrated smartcard as these are rolled-out into their region, or if they want to travel in another region which already has smartcards in place.
Source: Ministry of Transport