Improved ticketing system on the way for bus passengers

Passenger bus users in the Horizons Region will soon benefit from the implementation of a Regional Integrated Ticketing System (RITS). 

Horizons, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Northland, Nelson, Otago and Invercargill Regional and Unitary Councils have joined together in a consortium to introduce the new cross-boundary ticketing system which will replace the current ageing technology.

Horizons Regional Council transport manager Phil Hindrup is looking forward to seeing the ‘tag on, tag off’ technology available on all regional bus services by mid 2018.

“We’re always looking for new ways to encourage the use of public transport; having such an intuitive system will really make a difference,” says Mr Hindrup.

“Similar to other electronic card systems in larger metropolitan centres, RITS will allow passengers to check and top-up their balances online. Passengers will be able to travel on bus services provided by the nine regions who are installing the system on the one card.

“Not only will the tag on and tag off system be easier for passengers, it will provide rich information about how passengers travel on the network, allowing us to plan services better to meet users’ needs.

“The new system will be replacing the GoCards our passenger services currently use. Horizons will run a communication campaign to help educate bus users prior to the new cards coming into play.”

Mike Garrett, spokesperson for the RITS consortium, says working together to procure a new provider has meant cost savings for ratepayers across all nine regions. This will also provide direct benefits for bus passengers.

“Following a competitive tender process the contract was awarded to INIT, an international transport technology provider with more than 30 years experience in ticketing and transport solutions worldwide,” says Mr Garrett.

The NZ Transport Agency is a key funder for this new system, and have been working very closely with the consortium and each individual council.

RITS will be in place for five years, while allowing for procurement of a nationwide, long term solution for public transport ticketing and payments.