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New bus card to be introduced in May

Thursday 27 January, 2022.

A new bus card will be introduced in Tairāwhiti this year and will replace the existing Smart Card.

Bee Card is an electronic smartcard that is a part of the Regional Integrated Ticketing

Scheme (RITS) being used on buses in nine regions: Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty,

Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Otago and Invercargill.

Waka Kotahi is encouraging regions to move to the new ticketing system called the Bee Card

and has approved funding for implementation in the 2021/22 financial year.

Bus users will have the capability of being able to use the same balance on a card in any of

the nine other regions, giving them more out of their bus card experience.

Director of Liveable Communities Dave Wilson says “the new bus card will be introduced at

the start of May, which coincides with the start of Term 2. We’re about to begin work with

schools, seniors and bus users to provide information about topping up the

new card and how to use it on the bus. This is for both the City Bus and Waka Kura

services.”

He says “there will be a transition period to enable students and others to get used to the

new system and learning how to tag on and off buses as well as top up cards. This includes

free travel throughout the month of April.”

He says “Super Gold travellers will need their concession information loaded onto a Bee

Card in order to keep enjoying free bus travel.”

Mr Wilson says the Council will provide a new Bee Card for students who use buses and

those who currently have a Smartcard. This will be free of charge to help with the overall

changeover phase of the project.

He says “the new tag on – tag off system will enable the use of track and trace on our public

transport network which meets COVID-19 requirements, and it will also help with future

planning by determining where the most activity is by public transport users.”