Dumped bus card firm seeks $20m compo

By Mathew Dearnaley

Photo / File
Photo / File

Electronic payments card supplier Snapper says it will claim up to $20 million in costs from Auckland Transport after being dumped from the region's $98 million integrated ticketing project.

That is on top of an extra $12 million it says the council organisation must now pay the main Hop ticketing project contractor, French company Thales, to supply replacement ticketing equipment to be leased to the region's various bus fleets.

Snapper chief executive Mike Szikszai says it simply wanted to recover its costs, rather than try to halt the project and sue for lost business.

"We are aiming for this to be as quick as it can be and we want to move on," he said.

Szikszai said Wellington-based Snapper was still itemising its costs "but I think we're looking at a range of between $10 million and $20 million".

"It's significant - we haven't been paid a cent for our work in Auckland."

Szikszai denied Auckland Transport's contention that Snapper was unable to meet an extended deadline for the rollout of Hop cards across buses, trains and ferries by November 30, saying it had "delivered against all of our milestones".

"We met all of our obligations and Auckland Transport didn't stand up to their side of the deal," he said.

That included a failure to provide Snapper with the specifications it needed to plug its technology into the wider Hop system.

Szikszai said there were about 200,000 Snapper-enabled Hop cards in circulation in Auckland, and the company would continue to support these, even though it would ultimately have to remove its machines from the NZ Bus fleet.

The row over Snapper means it will be April before Thales starts adding the new cards to fleets run by NZ Bus and a consortium of other bus operators which were originally to have been supplied by a third ticketing company.

- NZ Herald

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