7 Apr 2015

Counting the cost of failing to tag off

8:53 am on 7 April 2015

Public transport users in Auckland have lost $1.7 million in the past year through misusing their electronic tickets.

A bus on Auckland's Queen Street

A bus on Auckland's Queen Street Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Most of that is from failing to tag on and off properly at the start and end of journeys, with only 4 percent of those that do so applying for refunds.

Passengers also lost $130,000 by loading money into their accounts but not using their cards again within two months.

AT HOP general manager Eunan Cleary said the failure rate has fallen to below the level of other countries' long-established systems.

"We typically start at 5 percent of people failing to tag and now we're down to about 1.1 percent," he said.

"That compares favourably when you look overseas to somewhere like London, where their failure to tag rate is 1.6 percent. So it's a good result and it's what you'd expect."

Mr Cleary said there would be a push to lift the number of people using the card's automatic top-up feature, from only 7 percent.

"We're seeing a lot of people who are doing one-off top-ups but we need now to push the benefits of the auto top-up because it is almost a set and forget mode and it means the money is instantly on the card."

He said the AT HOP card is now used to pay for about 77 percent of weekday trips in Auckland.

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