What’s happening to the Orbus GoCard?

Bus Talk column - 30 July 2020

Otago’s Orbus network is one of nine bus networks across the country that is moving to a new bus card, called the Bee Card.

The GoCard will be replaced by the Bee Card.

We want to make the change as easy as possible for our bus passengers. Otago Regional Council (ORC), which runs the Orbus service, has decided to keep buses free until we bring in the new Bee Card, to keep things simple.

   

When will we start using the Bee Card and charging fares?

Buses across Dunedin will start charging fares again on 1 September, and from this date customers will need a Bee Card with credit on it to pay for their travel. They can also pay in cash, however using the Bee Card will give you cheaper fares than paying by cash.  

    

How do I get a Bee Card?

You can order your Otago Bee Card online and top it up straight away at www.BeeCard.co.nz. Cards are free of charge for the next two or three months, until all the regions in New Zealand are using the new card.

You can also pick up a free Bee Card on the bus or from ORC offices at 70 Stafford Street and at Level 2, Philip Laing House on the corner of Rattray and Princes Streets, near the Exchange.

   

What about my left over GoCard credit?

You can transfer your credit from your GoCard to your new Bee Card or donate it to charity.

To transfer credit, complete the easy digital form at www.orc.govt.nz/balancetransfer or visit one of our ORC offices. You will need your Bee Card and your GoCard, as well as details of some of your travel for security purposes.

It will take up to 10 days to process the transfer as we expect to be handling many thousands of requests. Fares are free until 1 September, so plan ahead and enjoy free travel while the transfer is being processed.  

GoCard holders can also choose to donate any leftover credit to a travel bank, a multi-agency service where people who need it most are supported with pre-loaded bus travel cards. The travel bank donation is being coordinated by the Salvation Army with St Vincent de Paul and Family Works, and may be extended to other agencies depending on how many people donate.

If people have less than $5 on their GoCard they may want to donate it, especially when you consider that buses have been free for many months.

   

Do I have to get and register my Bee Card online?

No, if you pick up a Bee Card from an ORC office or on the bus, you can just top it up with cash on the bus without having to register.

Registering online does have many advantages, including topping up online the night before your travel, managing your kid’s card, tracking your own travel or reporting a lost/stolen card. If you are eligible for a concession, for example a youth concession (5-18 years old), you should register to get the concession loaded on to your card and get a cheaper fare.

   

Where to find more information

As well as this fortnightly Bus Talk column, we have information flyers on buses, on Facebook and our website. You can also call us on 0800 ORBUSDN (672 8736) 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

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