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Infratil defends Snapper against Auckland Transport claims

Tuesday 26th June 2012

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Infratil, the investment infrastructure firm, has defended its Snapper unit against Auckland Transport's claims it will miss the deadline to integrate its contactless card with the city's public transport network.

Snapper, the card payments system used on Infratil’s commuter buses, received a notice from Auckland Transport on June 18 alleging it had breached the terms of the participation agreement, along with a claim for damages.

"The basis of these claims has not been clarified and the notice incorporates a number of significant errors and inaccuracies," Rhoda Phillippo, chairwoman of Snapper Services, said in a statement. "Infratil and Snapper strongly refute the allegations made and we will make our response to the detailed claims known as appropriate."

Snapper was chosen to supply the cards and machine readers for the Hop ticketing project on Auckland's buses. The remainder of Auckland's public transport ticketing project is being run by French technology company Thales.

Auckland Transport says it has suffered significant costs because Snapper failed to deliver its side of the $87 million deal to integrate the bus ticketing with that being introduced by Thales, which completed work well-ahead of time, the NZ Herald reported.

Contactless card systems are a growing global trend including London’s Oyster card and Hong Kong’s Octopus.

In April, Wellington Snapper card usage reached 80 percent penetration, Miki Szikszai, chief executive at Snapper told BusinessDesk.

On average, commuters top up there cards in $25 dollars allotments every 10 to 14 days, while online top ups can be up to 40 percent more. That makes Snapper's float about $9.3 million at any one time.

Shares of Infratil rose 0.5 percent to $2.01 and have gained 6.4 percent this year.

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