A new way to pay for your train trip is now available in Wellington with the launch of a Snapper card trial on the Johnsonville Line.
The Snapper card is currently used to pay bus fares across the Wellington bus network and will now work on the line as part of a 12-15 month trial run by Metlink.
While commuters are still able to pay for tickets by cash and Eftpos at the station and onboard, those using the Snapper card will receive a discount of 25 percent off the normal cash fare during off-peak times.
"This train line is a vital link to the inner city and other suburbs for the people of my electorate," Ōhāriu MP Greg O'Connor said at the launch event .
"They'll now be able to move between the train and buses using Snapper, making their commute more convenient and seamless."
Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher said the pilot is an important step in Metlink's transition to the national ticketing solution.
"It gives us an immediate idea of the design, implementation, maintenance and administration challenges of running electronic ticketing on rail," he said.
"Our customers want contactless payment for train passage, like they have for buses."
Snapper CEO Miki Szikszai told Newshub there are around 220,000 Snapper cards in active use across the Wellington region.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has been working on a plan for a national ticketing system called Project NEXT which would allow Kiwis to pay for public transport with one card wherever they are in the country. The current estimated roll-out date for this system is 2026.
TransDev, which operates trains in Wellington, is looking forward to offering an integrated ticketing option for users of the network.
A Heritage New Zealand spokesperson told Newshub "we are pleased to see the machines have been installed and the trial has begun".
Metlink is planning on rolling out electronic ticketing across all Wellington train lines by December 2022.