Auckland Transport

AT - Tertiary Concessions

Using human centred design methods to redeisgn the tertiary concession application process for Auckland Transport and the University of Auckland.
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Auckland Transport (AT) has regularly come under fire from students criticising the lengths they must go to, to apply for a tertiary concession, which in some instances saw students queueing for up to an hour across multiple locations in the city.


Use human centred design techniques to facilitate a pilot between the University of Auckland and AT to define a new application and renewal experience that leveraged digital to reduce customer effort, increase accuracy and automate renewals and fallouts.


We facilitated a two-week sprint with AT and The University of Auckland to explore the opportunity space, hypothesise solutions and test with customers. At the conclusion of the sprint, we made recommendations as to how automation could benefit customers and the business. We then moved into detailed design, prototyped and tested again and supported AT when the pilot went live.


  • In 2019 87% of eligible students from the University of Auckland, Massey and AUT used the new process concession application process
  • Reduction in time required to apply for a concession from roughly 1 hour to under 5 minutes
  • Customers are now only required to apply once in their academic career (as long as they remain eligible)  as opposed to having to apply every year
  • Reduced fraudulent use of tertiary concessions by integrating identity verification into AT Mobile.

In the words of

Auckland Transport

Purple Shirt crafted and led the initial explore and design sprints for Concessions over two 2-week periods. They prepared and facilitated the teams in a way that enabled a wide range of AT participants teams to learn about design thinking while solving a critical problem for the student population in Auckland. As part of this process, Purple Shirt documented tools and methodologies that could be applied to future sprints. Purple Shirt are total professionals, great personalities, intelligent challengers, and patient teachers. The result is a positive experience for an increasing number of concessions audiences that are continuing to pay great dividends with each iteration.

Susan Parkes
Head of Experience Design

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