When would these flat fares start?
Pending community consultation, this temporary fare structure would be rolled out across the Orbus network alongside the introduction of the Bee Card toward the end of winter.
At this stage, these fares would be for approximately the next six months.
Bus trips will remain free until the transition to the Bee Card to help avoid confusion in the meantime.
What about bus to bus transfers?
When a Bee Card user changes buses as part of their commute, they will get a free transfer, so it would still be $2 to get from point A to B so long as they change buses within 30 minutes.
The way it works is that the tag on tag off system recognises you have changed buses and swiped your Bee Card within 30 minutes and won’t charge you again as you tag off. Tagging off is really important whenever you travel because it is at that point that the system closes the loop and charges a passenger. Forget to tag off and you will get charged $5.
The free transfer and easy connections at the hub ensure you pay a simple, cheap fare for your entire one-way commute. Transfers are free all day so long as they are taken in the 30-minute window. They apply across the network.
What is the Bee Card again?
The Bee Card will be live across nine regions in NZ and is coming to Otago in a few months. In Dunedin and Queenstown, it replaces the GoCard.
As well as an easy tag on tag off system, it will also offer benefits such as setting up an online profile for topping up and loading child concessions on the card. SuperGold holders will not need a Bee Card while SuperGold fares remain free.
The Bee Card also minimises interactions between the driver and passenger, which has become even more important now under the current COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.
Will I be able to use GoCard credit?
We are working through the options of how you can transfer credit from the GoCard to the Bee Card. We may not have this sorted by the time we launch the Bee Card but we’ll have a process in place and dates to make the transfer.
We are also looking options to possibly donate left-over funds to a charity.
The Bee Card will be free at first and then have a minimum $5 top up.