This is a guest post by reader Heidi O’Callahan

Children are walking and using public transport today, but what will they do as they learn to drive and become adults? Have we provided a user-friendly public transport system that enables young people to avoid the dependence on a private car? Or, as with older generations, will that be an addiction to break later?

Of course the actual routes, connections, and travel times matter. But so does user experience. So, how are young people faring under the AT HOP system?

The media have noticed that students get a bit of a bum steer when trying to get their concession cards at the beginning of the academic year. AT say they are investigating alternate options for applying for concessions and for improving the online experience. Here are some observations to feed into that process.

The 16 and 17-year-olds:

Using numbers from the Education Counts and Census records, I estimate that in March, over 96% of 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for the child concession.  (I chose March because that is the month for which I also have AT’s numbers for concessions.)

Excluding the remaining few is the only “advantage” to having a concession scheme that is not just automatically awarded based on age. That’s an awful lot of administrative effort to exclude very few children.

In my opinion, all 16 and 17 year olds need concession fares in order to access their city and remain engaged. Those not at school or tertiary study at this young age are perhaps the most vulnerable to disconnection.

And what is the effect on the >96% who are eligible for the concession, yet have to go to some hassle to obtain it?

From figures provided by AT in March through a LGOIMA request:

(AT also added a note that this data does not include AT HOP cards where the date of birth was loaded directly onto the AT HOP card via a Customer Service Centre. I’m not quite sure how to deal with this note, nor why AT can’t access that info. Ignoring that for now…)

Only 63% of active 16 and 17 year old AT HOP users are receiving the secondary or tertiary concession, despite the fact that more than 96% are eligible. Difficulties in obtaining the concession mean that about a third of eligible active users are being overcharged.

Two main difficulties exist that I am aware of:

  1. The online step doesn’t work if your card is linked to your parent’s card.
  2. You have to attend in person to load the concession, which is a hassle and a cost.

Tweak required: Give all the 16 and 17 year olds the concession automatically, based on age, and save everybody the cost and hassle of registering and loading the concession.

Tertiary Students:

Here are the steps required to get a concession for a tertiary student:

A student has to go to three different places, and in between, do two different steps online. That adds up to a fair bit of time – and sometimes cost – being spent by students city-wide, let alone AT’s own administration costs.

Why so complex?

Having obtained the AT student sticker (with its unique student number) from the tertiary institution, there is no justification for making the student attend an AT service centre in person. The student is unable to get more than one card, so there’s little risk of them handing cards around to friends. If AT has doubts about the integrity of the tertiary institutions’ photo ID processes, this can be resolved without 100,000 students having to attend an AT service centre.

The security in the system is that a passenger must present photo student ID on request. This would remain the same whether there is an “in-person” step or not.

In short, the cost of administering the “in-person” step, and to the student population going to all this bother, is unwarranted, and could be leading to massive overcharging, and likely student disenfranchisement from the public transport system.

Tweak required: Remove the “in-person” step required for loading a student concession.

Young children

Some children’s AT HOP cards are being charged at adult rates.

The LGOIMA response included the following information. (I am aware of the obvious errors and am waiting for corrections,)

OK, so because of the error in the numbers, we can’t tell the scale of the problem. It wouldn’t be true that 100% (or more) of these children’s cards have been charged adult fares. We do know, however, that cards used by children are being charged adult rates, for either of these two reasons:

  1. there is a delay between purchase and successful registration, meaning the card operates as an adult card.
  2. there is a delay between registration and first use, resulting in a registration “expiry”. These cards still show online as children’s concessions cards, but charge adult rates.

AT has acknowledged the second of these problems, and has started contacting people whose cards have reverted this year to charging adult rates, but have not done anything to contact those whose cards are still charging adult rates from a historical reversion.

Tweaks Required:

  • Make it possible to buy children’s cards which can’t lose their concession, instead of having to buy an adult card and convert it to a child card.
  • Put alert statements online if the card is no longer functioning as a child card.
  • Contact all cardholders who have been overcharged, reinstate the concessions, and refund the overcharged amount.

Other people who should be able to get children’s cards

Bus fares aren’t cheap if you have to buy a few for each journey. When you have a carload of children, the costs of running the car will always be cheaper than multiple fares. Only people committed to public transport or who don’t have a car will persevere with taking the children by public transport.

So it is galling that AT provides no mechanism for adults to obtain the AT HOP fare for children who are not their own, other than demanding the parents organise it. AT says:

This doesn’t work. A family who would normally carpool to activities in a week-about fashion with other families, should be able to switch to public transport, and keep and manage additional cards for the extra children. The car-using families may have no interest in public transport, and are already paying for their part of the carpooling deal, in petrol and car costs. They cannot be expected to also provide, manage and fund an AT HOP card.

Other examples: caregivers, holiday programme providers, respite carers, special needs carers, extended family members, specialist tutors or organisers of small group activities should be able to keep and use a “group set” of cards should they wish.

Tweaks required:

  • Sell children’s cards as well as adults’ cards, and have them refundable when no longer needed.
  • Long term solution: Just make public transport free for children, and do away with AT HOP cards for them.

And one more thing…

Children often start out with a card linked to a parent’s account, because then the parent can manage the card, and it is the only solution if the child doesn’t have an email address. But AT can’t de-link and re-register the card once the child is older. So the child is stuck with the parent managing the card forever, or has to buy a new card. Please, surely this can be sorted?

Tweak required: If AT can’t find a way to re-register a card to a child, replace the card for free.

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67 comments

  1. Excellent suggestions!

    Making HOP more convenient should be a key priority for AT increasing patronage. Anything they can do to make it easier should be implemented.

  2. Isn’t the easiest answer for Tertiary just to abolish it. Just because you are a student doesn’t mean you need extra subsidies why should single part time working mum from Mangere pay more than a grammar zone student living with parents or why do we subsidise students but not apprentices (I apply this to more than traditional trades but all technical fields with non tertiary pathways) or interns.

    Concessions should be based on need not age, I find it astounding that again single part time working mum from Mangere has to pay full fare but a 66 year old person with a 2 million dollar home in Herne Bay doesn’t.

    1. Great post, goes to show how tricky and time consuming the process can be.

      Harriet – I agree with the tertiary discount, especially since now with a HOP card, the HOP fare is significantly cheaper than a cash fare. I’m sure there would be a backlash from student groups though if it was scrapped.

      Also agree with age vs need – although that would be a tricky one to implement, maybe community services card holders get a 20% discount? I’m sure there’s a way to link that to HOP card.

        1. I’m not sure I agree Harriet. Yours is perhaps an argument why single mothers on low incomes should have an concession, but its not an argument why tertiary students shouldn’t have a concession. Many, perhaps most, tertiary students live in literal poverty. Should fact that their poverty is temporary change their entitlement at the time?

          1. Many but not all.

            The point is students who are in poverty would still have access to concessions but the ones who are not wont.

            Its also another unfair distortion that pushes people towards academic pathways and away from other pathways, the latter which is arguably what our labour market actually needs & another example of the educational/employment academic elitist bias in our society where University is pushed as the only option.

            Concession systems should be based on need not age & a student can indeed be in need, but the fact they are a student does not necessarily mean need.

          2. Polytechnical students (trades) can also get the concession. Perhaps the concession is a recognition that we have completely failed to provide a reasonable means for young people and students to survive through their study.

          3. Sailor Boy – I think you have hit the nail on the head there. The costs of being a student appear to be significantly higher than when I was a student 14+ years ago, and we used to complain quite a bit back then!

            This is a much bigger issue that PT fares are getting tangled up in.

    2. Agree, we don’t provide discount petrol or cars for students. They are adults making adult decisions about expenditure.

      Not sure about concessions based on income/assets, this would be adding a layer of complexity to the AT Hop system that really should be managed by the welfare system.

      1. I think the point is we should have a National Transit Card so its the same everywhere hopefully one day you can catch LRT to Auckland Airport then jump onto a Christchurch Airport Bus. In that circumstance tying it nationally wouldn’t be an issue.

        1. Many years ago when I lived in the Netherlands, the fare system was based on “strippenkarten” (strip tickets). You simply folded over the required number of strips and stamped it in the on-board machine. The system was valid nationwide, and this was fantastic for travelling around. Not suggesting we should go back to a mechanical validation paper ticket system, but a nationally-valid electronic system would be great. I believe should be ultimately possible given the Auckland system was designated as a future system for other regions also to adopt, if I recall correctly.

          1. I believe the NZTA are doing a business case on a single card, however some other Local Councils are going ahead with different schemes lets just hope this is not the one time NZTA leave a decision to Local Govt

          2. They now have a countrywide card system that allows for PT travel, intercity travel and bike hire from stations.

        2. That would be ideal. Although as a cautionary tale the Victorian Myki card was planned to do this across the whole state of Victoria. However, after spending A$1.5 billion, they conceded defeat and while it is a perfectly good system in Melbourne and on some regional trains and regional centres it neither met it’s goals or justified it’s costs.

      1. Its a pretty captive market what are most students going to do try outbid some of the highest paid workers for parking spaces.

        I think the argument is less it encourages extra use but more from an social POV but tbh if you are going to do that it should be based on need not age/student status

      2. Wellington has some of the most expensive public transport in the world, and their bus use has declined for the last 15 years.

        Emulate them if you like.

    3. Free travel for the 65+ group is voter candy from the government. My grandmother would have said, it’s the old robbing from the mouths of babes, and in light of the how much the younger generations will have to pay for the fossil fuel party later on, her sentiment may be right.

      Yes there’s a social inequity when well-heeled students get a concession but poorer people don’t. I’m a fan of means testing. Doesn’t seem to be politically correct anymore though.

      Trouble with removing the tertiary concession altogether, is that these kids don’t have a choice of working or studying. There aren’t the jobs. They’re having to study, whether they’ve found their “calling” or not, just to have a chance at a job later. And studying means they can’t be earning enough to be able to pay the high PT fares.

      At least free PT for children would help the many single parents; it would perhaps remove the need for a car.

        1. Yes I guess you’re right. The classic case of the children of the business owner getting concessions because they can show low income, despite a surprisingly high standard of living. Do you think it’s not possible to design an equitable test if the political will was there?

          The problem is, of course, that the PT fares are so high without a concession. If the subsidies to car users were removed and used to lower the PT fares, etc, we wouldn’t even need to be discussing this…

          1. It’s possible, but to make it fair and equitable it would be quite costly to administer, as people’s means change quite frequently and are often quite complex.

            I’m not up with how the community services card is run now, as I haven’t been a student for 14 years, but I think it would be a relatively simple system to use for a concession.

            One potential issue would be if it doesn’t have photo ID, whether AT would be happy using it as proof for a concession.

          2. Council pools use the Community Services Card already for pool entry concessions. This includes 10 pass tickets or single entry, can’t see why can’t be used just like a student ID card for HOP concessions. Bit more trust is needed on the system.

    4. Harriet, I Disagree. Tertiary Students by and large do have a limited budget even if they are living at home.
      Tertiary students when they graduate are more likely in general to be working in office jobs and often get offered a company car as a perk etc. These are the types that are mostly SOV and more likely to be heading into the CBD (and consequently blocking up the motorways etc for people not heading there). If the tertiary discount can be simplified so that more of them use that then that can only be a good thing as they become accustomed to using PT making them more likely to use it in their working lives and not driving SOV.
      A tradie on the other hand is likely to be driving a ute or van for the rest of their lives and most of the time they need to do that (can’t exactly take a drop-saw etc on PT). Now that isn’t to say that they shouldn’t also get a discounted rate while training of course.

      1. Not sure many young graduates are being offered company cars. I certainly don’t know any that work in the CBD amongst my friends and colleagues.

        If the concession is based on limited income then there are many more than just students that should be receiving it.

        1. Know plenty that are. The other thing that people getting educated are of course usually more likely to be working and paying more taxes in the future. The example provided of a young solo mother is by in large likely to be a drain on the public purse.
          Students also tend to travel during the same peaks as workers so if they are driving that is just more cars on the road.
          The point was raised in the post about “Have we provided a user-friendly public transport system that enables young people to avoid the dependence on a private car? Or, as with older generations, will that be an addiction to break later?”
          Students are literally the last opportunity we have to get people into PT before they enter the workforce and the temptation of driving a car.
          Another consideration is that many students don’t actually have a license so putting the price of PT up for them is going to force more of them to get a license and then drive.
          We already notice what a difference in traffic there is when Universities go on holiday.

          1. “We already notice what a difference in traffic there is when Universities go on holiday.”

            This has almost nothing to do with university traffic, at least not in the city centre. Almost all people travelling to the city campuses of the UofA and AUT don’t drive, less than 10%. They have slightly more than 90% non-car modeshare.

            In my opinion, the real reason for the school holiday drop in traffic is that many workers take their holidays at the same time, either to holiday with younger family members, to look after children who aren’t at school, or because it is a good time to take a holiday regardless (i.e. summer).

            So you have a huge chunk of the workforce who are ‘forced’ to align their leave with school and university holidays, and likewise unable to take leave when school and uni are in session.

          2. @Nick. Not referring to the CBD only for traffic (as many students live in the burbs). Traffic does drop off significantly. As for holidays it drops off further when schools are on holiday but this is a much shorter period. University holidays start before and finish after school holidays do over the summer.

          3. Our two largest universities are next to each other in the central city. Regardless of where those students live (yes, mostly in the suburbs) they don’t drive to campus.

        2. I’d be fascinated to know which firms in the CBD were offering new grads company cars and thus presumably company carparks. That doesn’t seem like a great business model, and doesn’t seem to line up with the rapid growth in employment in the CBD, yet virtually static numbers of people driving.

          1. We dumped the last of our company cars and carparks a few years ago. Now we have an awesome office in a premium location, and pay our staff better. One of them still drives and pays for her own parking, but everyone else has found they are perfectly happy commuting sans car.

            It’s amazing what you can get for your money if you don’t require, nor need to pay for, accessory parking for an office.

    5. The difference between the pupil and the student is that we assign some sort of agency over available funds to the latter. Hence, we discount them less.

      The difference between the student and the worker is that we assume at the end of the latter’s journey they will have earnt their fare. Hence, we give the latter the baseline.

      It is dishonest to compare the privileged student to the single mum because what matters is the thing itself, and the mum from context is a worker. Notice only full time students get concessions.

      This is not to say a community services concession should not exist. I have said as much to my friends. It is to say there is a rationale behind the current regime… even without the excellent argument by AKLDUDE.

      I think AKLDUDE’s point has the corollary that socially undesirable habits should not be discounted, i.e. petrol.

      Also I do not recall the system being quite so convoluted last year. Then one got a sticker and rocked up to Britomart or wherever (the card is already registered) and they did the rest. None of this online nonsense. Similarly the expiry of a college ID in March means you have a grace period or the option to not use a HOP card until such a time as it is convenient to turn up. In theory. As I said, this year felt messy.

    6. In terms of concessions based on need, then a concession for people with a community services card could be a good idea. Someone who is unemployed and looking for work could then get a concession, making it easier for them to travel to job interviews and to go visiting potential employers etc. I would suspect that the vast majority of tertiary students would be eligible based on need. Even students who come from relatively wealthy families are not necessarily receiving a lot of family support and they also wouldn’t be receiving a student allowance.

      1. As I mentioned before, I strongly embrace the concept of a community services concession.

        However, student groups have a lot of issues with the student allowance system, criticising both the amount available and the way the means testing happens. As they see it, many students who should be eligible are not. Problematically, here, the broad strokes of the matter are such that no allowance => no community services card => no concession if there is no tertiary concession alternative. Hence, and I think you probably agree here, it must be community services and tertiary rather than just one of them.

    7. For centuries students have been seen as poor and needy, and they generally have been so, even if only temporary. Maybe student concessions are a hangover from before modern liberal economics became the dominant ideology.
      At a time when having a job is the most important factor in participation in society and for comfortable survival, foregoing that opportunity of earning an income in order to pursue full-time studies, does mean a major economic disadvantage. Most people only see it as a temporary disadvantage, which will later result in better earnings. That is the expectation and one reason why so many take up study. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way (indeed many tradies earn more than many people with a bachelor do).
      One of the questions is whether such education is good for society as a whole, even though it removes a sizeable portion of the population from the workforce. I would definitely answer with a yes, even though I think such an assessment should not be restricted to economics.
      Tertiary concessions are based on the experience of generations world-wide, not on a recent ideology.
      Disclosure: I am a PhD student, who does not have access to a community card, but struggled to provide for the family.

    8. That’s a pretty huge strawperson Harriet, and you know it. Most students are adults without any reasonable income, surviving on a pitiful student allowance and/or borrowing thousands from the government for living expenses, and working a few hours a week to cover the difference.

  3. There is also the problem around lack of ease for making changes. Recently I had a young fellow on the bus, a primary school age person, who had just purchased a hop card for himself but it took off an adult fare. I pointed this out and said his Mum or he should try and sort it. There is no AT serviced centre near where they live, Mum works full time and they cannot do it on a computer. So at least a week of adult fares before Mum can waste precious weekend time going to sort it. These are the people who use buses and need to use buses. The young fellow had such independence at a young age, but the inconveniences of the card may see him and the rest of his family going back to school car run. There are not enough service centres throughout the region, and also not enough card and Top Up sellers for people who do not use computers. Far too much of this
    relies on online useage. The same for Gold Card users who have problems.

    1. Yes Jean. By comparison in London you can pop into any station and return an Oyster card for a refund on the spot. They can also load it up with concessions then an there with ID (and for kids it’s pretty obvious without ID).

  4. My gripe is that the online card management system simply doesn’t work very well. I’ve tried to set up auto-top-up for my card at least five times and it simply never sticks. After trying to set it up, the site says “Important: The first time you set up Auto Top Up on your AT HOP card, it can take up to 72 hours to activate.” and says that while I set it up successfully, it’s still disabled. So I’m in limbo hoping it worked, and then it silently fails for an unknown reason, but I only notice if I remember to check back after 72 hours. Speaking as a computing professional, that is all poor IT systems design.

    There are other issues with the online system, like the fact there are two different sites for managing cards (https://www.myhopaccount.co.nz and https://at.govt.nz/myat/). It should all be hosted under at.govt.nz; multiple lookalike domains increases users’ susceptibility to phishing attacks.

    1. The inability to remove already blacklisted/cancelled/lost cards from your online account summary is particularly annoying as well.

      1. Yip, including the multiple cards a child might have to enable easy switch between different parental households or to accommodate the “carpooling” situation… which become adult cards when the child turns 16. Only one of the cards can then become a concession card so the others are useless. All these cards should be refundable, and you should be able to remove them from your online account.

      2. The only company worse than AT at handling Expired Credit cards is 2 Degrees.

        And it’s a 3 way tie for the worst website design between AT Hop, My 2 Degrees and the Toll Road website

    2. The up to 72 hours thing is a fundamental flaw. If you manage to top up your card before you set out, you should be able to use it!

      One day recently I was bemusedly watching my son’s progress on the PT system, a whole day later. Each tag on and tag off appeared online individually, at about a 2 hour spacing (and all the following day). It couldn’t be explained by AT’s “overnight batch processing”, which would have had them all appear at once. It’s just weird.

      Robert, from an IT perspective, is this something that will improve as internet connection for buses improves, or is it just a problem with the system that we’ll be stuck with until AT HOP reaches the end of its life?

      1. Hard to say. It probably just depends on how much money you’re willing to spend.

        It would be really interesting to get together with some of the IT staff who maintain the system to explain the design and discuss what could be done to improve it.

    3. Yes Robert, I’m an IT guy too, and it’s terrible (though I understand things are getting looked into for upgrade etc & been some minor instruction improvements…).

      I’ve discovered (having set up the Auto Top Up for multiple adult & child cards), the trick is to not go back and check what you set until the card has been used (it always diverts back to showing the default $1 etc setting). Not until the card is used does it then show what is actually setup….horrible as you say as you don’t have confidence in what is really setup. Seems the value and setting is really set on the card as much as in the cloud.

  5. It’s almost like AT needs some board members specifically looking at customer focus who actually use the HOP system 😉

  6. Great post – thanks Heidi. There isn’t enough analysis of this type of cost for families with children and the trade-offs that people make as a result.

    I wholeheartedly support your ‘tweak’ to make child cards available. It would have saved us being charged the adult fare for our kids on our first trip on the train during a recent visit to Auckland because we hadn’t registered them yet.

    I have another suggestion. As I said, we were visiting Auckland (from Wellington) and despite the $10 cost per card I decided it was worth investing $40 in buying cards for the whole family to access the cheaper hop integrated fares and the 99c weekend kids fares given we’d be on the trains a lot over the course of two days. It was worth it (i.e. we spent less than we would have if paying cash), but only just and it was the final trip to the airport when we left by train/380 bus that clinched the savings.

    So, my suggestion – have some sort of family day pass/weekend pass available for people to use. Then if it’s priced right it might work for both visitors to the city, or families/groups with kids travelling for other reasons. Wouldn’t this be a good way to get families off the road and out of car parks and into the trains during off peak times?

    Wellington has a few options such as the Busabout pass for families, or a day pass that allows one child aged 5-15 to travel with the adult for free. Why can’t Auckland?

    Overall though we loved using the trains in Auckland. I’m looking forward to coming back when the CRL is finished.

    1. In the long run there is an aim for off peak fares however due to the major changes in the fare structure & the rolling out of the New Network coupled with the 50% Farebox Ratio Target set by NZTA this will happen later.

    2. I don’t think our current system is particularly visitor friendly. As far as I’m aware there is no longer the day-tripper concession card anymore, and I think the family day pass can only be purchased at limited locations.

      I find AT Hop works very well as a daily train and sometimes bus commuter, however it really seems to struggle with the more complicated requirements.

      1. I couldn’t find anything about a family day pass anywhere; even one available at limited locations, apart from one that is valid for travel on Waiheke Island. Mind you, I didn’t actually ask again when I got to Auckland. Did I miss something?

        1. The AT Hop website is impossible to find information on so it’s hard to know this, but all fares for children are 99c on the weekend, close to being free. I believe this has replaced all family passes.

          1. In true AT fashion they have chosen to exclude kids who have to use ferries, leaving lower North Shore families with no public transport options.

            Family trips to the museum or elsewhere are strictly car-only if you live on the lower North Shore unless you can afford to pay $40 or so for public transport. It is a farce considering that the ferries and buses/trains are already making those trips but AT are locking families out of using them by incompetent pricing, so we have no choice but to add another car onto the roads to get there.

          2. I would have thought that even if ferry fares have to be higher than other PT in general (and I’m not in the slightest qualified to comment on that), the children’s fares shouldn’t be. Certainly PT fares need to be affordable for family outings.

            I’ve heard of gold card users organising lovely get-togethers for their extended families on Waiheke Island, which the families with children can hardly afford. They don’t feel they can say no to Great Aunt’s 70th, so no, sorry, can’t pay for that school trip next week…

          3. Ferry Fares are to do with Joyce’s exceptions to Fullers in PTOM rather than AT though to be fair.

          4. True but Joyce’s exceptions specifically allow for AT to sort out fare equality with Fullers – we’ve been waiting for integrated fares for so long and there’s no evidence that AT or the Council even cares or has ever made any effort in redressing this.

  7. Good post Heidi, thanks.

    In line with the theme of the post, I think we need to do a lot better job with the quality of buses used for school runs too.

    While AT now have requirements for buses used as part of their network, school buses are often contacted outside of that and quality of them often leaves a lot to be desired. Traditionally urban bus companies like NZ Bus and Ritchies sell their old buses to smaller operators outside of Auckland or who do things like school runs. By the time that happens those buses can already be decades old and not of great quality, being loud, rattly and smelly. Not something to want to keep using once you get a drivers licence.

    And then there’s the truckbus’, to really ram home that you’re just self loading freight.

  8. Great post Heidi. Have found all the issues with our family as you point out. Yes the 99c child weekend fare is great but is spoilt by the fact you can’t buy a child card already set as one. Did a train/ferry trip after buying a HOP card from Pak’nSave in the morning (as the other kids were already out using all the other cards!), setup the card online with concession before going (which in itself is a barrier), having totally forgot about the delay in applying a concession & so was charged adult fare. I complained online and wasn’t even given/offered a refund after going to the effort of complaining. This is useless for tourist and taking other’s children on such trips. I think all the types of cards should be able to be bought set as such, at least child & senior ones as they have the Gold Card or obvious age to prove eligibility.

  9. One more thing, the child rate difference could always be automatically credited once the concession has been applied a few days later, but system is so “dumb” it won’t do that (In my naivety I was almost expecting it might).

    AND yes as you say Heidi. I currently have 2 linked accounts for children’s cards that should now be getting student or tertiary concessions…..they kind of promote the linked account aspect but don’t mention that you can’t de-link them or apply concessions afterwards!…2 cards all setup now need to be wasted really….lucky I’m a die hard PT fan, not many would bother with the effort of all this.

  10. The hop card IT system is inflexible and lacking. For example they cannot unblock cards and they cannot unlink card.

    And the attitude of AT is ‘can’t do’ – refusing to refund blocked or linked card.

    That wouldn’t be a good customer service in any standard. Unfortunately it is a bureaucratic organisation and people have no other choice.

    Council should enforce customer satisfaction KPI, and if the satisfaction is consistently below par, some people will have to be fired.

    At least that force them to fix the common issues.

  11. I think the issue is the fares for everyone are far too high not just school kids. How come in other countries- including Australia- they can run really good integrated public transport systems and charge a fraction of AT does?

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