New Zealand city plans smart card system
Tuesday, July 1 2008
The transit authority for New Zealand’s densest metropolitan area has prioritized the design and construction of a smart card ticketing system. According to a recently released plan of passenger transit project for 2008-2009, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) has placed smart cards at the top of its plans.
ARTA supervises the transit needs of a fast-growing urban population, including the KiwiRail train system. Like many major urban areas, Auckland is experiencing an intensified interest in public transport due to increasing fuel prices and environmental concerns, and officials believe that smart cards are a necessary component to managing the growth of their system.
“Over the next 20 years, the population of Auckland will grow at least by the equivalent of the current population of Christchurch or Wellington. Consequently, Aucklanders’ need to travel is increasing at a faster rate than in other cities,” said Peter Clark, ARTA’s general manager of strategy and planning. “This is putting great strains on our existing transport networks, and improvements to our infrastructure and passenger transport services are required.”