The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Snapper, re-visited

by Alan on June 17, 2009 in Uncategorised

In actionIt’s been a long time since we’ve mentioned Snapper in these pages.

In the meantime it’s become so much of an everyday part of life in Wellington now that it hardly seems worth mentioning anymore. Or is it?

Recently we got an email from Snapper asking us if we’d like to come and see what they’re up to. It seems they’ve had a few other things on the go as well as the recent Valley Flyer conversion and they’d like to let us know about them.

Sounds good. But it doesn’t have to be a one way thing. Now’s our chance to ask Snapper what they’re doing to bring some of our public transport “most needed” items into reality:

  • fully integrated ticketing across all public transport providers in the Wellington region, and
  • our bus stops equipped with real time bus information – we may not want much, but we want the best, and at the moment we have to admit that Christchurch, at least in part, Has It.

What about you? If you could ask the Snapper people a question, what would it be? Is there something you’d like changed? Is there anything about the present system that bugs you?

Let us know, below, and we’ll pass it along.

Alan Macdougall

  • Phil Drummond

    Way back nearly a year ago Mr Miki Szikszai stated “I would like to point out that you can use Snapper to buy a daytripper” and in that same sentance “if you are not getting satisfaction, please drop me a line and let me know”.
    I’ve asked several times how it is possible to buy a daytripper using Snapper but never had a response.
    If the CEO isn’t offering satisfaction, whio is?

  • Tom

    Though Snapper works out better for less regular users.

  • stephen clover

    Gah!  they better not fuck me >;

  • Robyn

    From what I understand, the Gold Pass will eventually be phased out, and instead you’ll buy a monthly pass on your Snapper card.

  • Robyn

    So if you make 2 bus trips a day, that’ll take little over a month to make 70 trips. Doesn’t sound like much time or effort to save over $10 on the cash fare.

  • davek

    – A quicker & more intuitive interaction between card & reader is a big priority. A simple tap or close wave is sufficient for the London Oyster card … whereas the Welly-Snapper requires a press & hold without moving for a couple of seconds. The system is meant to make matters quicker and simpler. If this interaction was sorted out properly, then Id have less of an issue with people having to tap-off too. (London buses being on a flat rate means that you don’t need to tap-off)

    – The loud voice is very, very annoying. The use of a tone is sufficient (even for a low credit warning).

    – Ability to have a monthly travelcard on the Snapper, for different zones. So you pay a cheap flat fee for the month and don’t have to worry about running out of credit pre-payday.

    – Daily Price Caps should be a priority feature, if this whole system is about public/customer service.

    – Auto top-up is another good feature from the Oyster, which can ensure you never run out of credit – but also aren’t risking having a lot of credit on your card (problem in case of theft).

  • Jessica Coppell

    Hey, I am a student of Wellington East Girls College doing a Media Studies assignment on Snapper cards. It is meant to be primarily targeted at the students of my school, but I am more interested in looking at how Wellingtonians find Snapper cards. I have been trying to get hold of some one in Snapper Services Limited to get them to answer questions. Would really like to get the CEO to interview, but they only put me through to the Marketing Manager. Meanwhile, would you be able to help me with my assignment? As bus users, how has the introduction of Snapper cards affected you? (eg. longer queues to get on, easier(or harder) to use buses) and, if any of you hve secondary school children, what do they think of this and the introduction of Snapper cards as something that can be a feature on their ID cards.

  • stephen clover

    Still not seeing how anything is a better option than my Gold Pass. I can travel all over the place (on the Wellington buses), all day any day, and not pay a single fare.  The price works out to about $3 a day.  WIN.


  • velcrodots

    All grumpy bus drivers I’ve ever encountered, times 10, cannot top the grumpyness of that guy who sells tickets at the train station! He was so incredibly rude to me, I would have far rather walked to Petone over giving him money (if not for the fact it was raining). Apparently, he was very nice to my nana however; maybe he’s ageist or can tell she’s badass and would tear him a new one if he was anything but.

    Oh and about the voice things on snapper, are they just another thing the bus drivers use to make sure no one sneaks on?

  • Hamish McConnochie

    I’m sorry but why is this system so pisspoor.

    I think the Snapper should be exactly like the Oyster Card. Please get rid of using it at shops. That is stupid. It’s for public transport ok. It should be a $10 deposit for the card, not a price. Do away with 25c top-up fee. Make machines like they have in London for topping up. Make a better discount. In London, an Oyster Card gives you a 90p bus fare instead of a £2 fare. Why can’t we have discounts like this? Provide a Student Snapper card, for sniversity students. Please make it useable on the train network. Make machines at the train station so I don’t have to talk to someone to buy a ticket.

    Just my 2[0 per]cents

  • stephen clover

    of my school

    Heh, I see what you did there… 😉

  • Hi everyone

    Great to see the interest in Snapper – and the questions. Keep them rolling, looks like we will have a wide-ranging and interesting conversation tomorrow!


    CEO – Snapper Services

  • Nicola

    Having spent a year on the buses, I’m sooo happy to be back on trains. I can’t stand catching buses, largely due to the grumpy drivers who are also in desperate need of driving lessons and copy of the road code. I managed to avoid a snapper card by stocking up on 10 trips last year and will do anything to avoid having to carry around YET ANOTHER CARD in my wallet, not to mention one that I have to transfer money onto periodically from another piece of plastic. I’m am in absolutely no rush for integrated ticketing, so the longer they delay it the better, or at the very least have options for people who don’t want to carry a stupid card and don’t want to have to pay transaction fees for the ‘privilege’ of topping up. Topping up large amounts is far too risky seeing as it is a card with no pin and your balance is displayed for all and sundry to see, while topping up small amounts is more expensive and inconvenient. You cannot win with this system (not to mention the ‘increased discount’ was completely cancelled out, and then some, with increased fees in September last year). At the very least lower the fees (ideally to nothing), make balances more confidential and please, for the love of God, turn of the damn sound! There is nothing worse at 7 in the morning or 5 at night than the constant sound of people ‘snapping on’ and ‘snapping off’, or worse, failing to use the damn thing correctly 5 times in a row.

  • Bevan

    I live in the $1.50 to town bus zone.
    Based on a 25% saving per trip, it will take me around 70 bus trips to pay off the $10 fee.
    I do make the odd trip further afield, but not more than once every 3 weeks.

    I’m not bothered about paying with it at shops.

    How can you make Snapper worth getting for me?

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