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
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.”