Bus Talk is back

Bus Talk column - 14 January 2021

Welcome to the first Bus Talk of 2021, the fortnightly community column about Orbus and the Bee Card.

If you are new to the buses or Bus Talk, keep a look out for this column as a great source of news about Dunedin’s bus network and travelling in Dunedin. You can also keep up to date via the Orbus Dunedin Facebook page or our soon-to-be-officially-launched newsletter.

What does 2021 hold?

Having dealt with the changing COVID requirements and launching the Bee Card last year, 2021 is all about improvements to the network.

We are looking to update signage at the Bus Hub, draft and publish a new Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP), launch real time tracking in Dunedin and improve stops that are frequently used or where demand is growing.

Several new buses are replacing older models in the fleet, too. We are working fast to get the Bee Card scanners installed and Orbus branding printed on these new buses.

We are also launching the On Board with Orbus newsletter this year. You can sign up via the website at www.orc.govt.nz/OrbusDN.

Best in region

The Bee Card operates in nine regions in New Zealand. Otago is not the biggest, but so far, Otago has the most registered Bee Cards than any other region.

Well done to our bus users who are in Dunedin and Queenstown – you’ve really taken the new card on board.

It’s easy to see why. Registering a card has a lot of benefits, not only to passengers.  

  • Topping up online *. Having less interactions with drivers means:
    • Faster onboarding
    • Greater safety in the COVID climate
  • Online balance checking
  • Setting up an auto top up
  • Loading your concessions
  • Managing more than one Bee Card with a linked account, for linking to your children’s card and topping it up.
  • Easy replacement of lost or stolen cards

* Don’t forget it can take up to 12 hours for a top up to pull through, so plan ahead, or set up an auto top up, so you are never caught out.

COVID precautions

While New Zealand is in Alert Level 1, and we can all be grateful to live in relative normality compared to other countries, a second wave is possible. We should be mindful that alert levels can change, and we should be prepared.

The government is reminding passengers to keep a track of their travel by scanning the COVID QR codes or keeping a diary of travel.

While wearing a mask is not mandatory, you should feel free to wear a mask on the bus to better protect yourself and others from potential infections.

As always, let’s be kind and understanding toward one another. Orbus connects us to each other in more ways than just getting us from A to B.

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