Bee Card FAQs

The Bee Card is a tag on tag off bus card that gives bus passengers cheaper fares in nine regions around New Zealand, including Otago. The Bee Card will replace the GoCard for Orbus in Dunedin and Queenstown.

Using the Bee Card gives users cheaper fares and if they register online they’ll get more benefits.

Get your Otago Bee Card online from www.BeeCard.co.nz, at our ORC offices or on the bus.

Dunedin 
Otago Regional Council offices
70 Stafford Street or Level 2
144 Rattray Street, Philip Laing House

Dunedin City Council
Customer Service Centres in the Octagon and Mosgiel from 24 August.  Other DCC Customer Service Centres will have these available soon.  

Queenstown 
Otago Regional Council office:
Terrace Junction
1092 Frankton Road

Stanley Street ticket hut from Monday 24 August.

University Bookshop (all locations)

When you order online, you must top up your card first.

If you have a Super Gold Card and don’t get your Bee Card in time, don’t worry. In the meantime, flash your Super Gold Card to the driver for free travel. 

No. During COVID alert levels we haven’t used the GoCard. Then when we start charging fares again with the Bee Card so you will no longer need your GoCard. If you have credit, get it transferred or donate the balance. You will need to use your Bee Card on Orbus as of September 1 in Dunedin and mid-September in Queenstown.

Orbus is free until we start using the Bee Card in your area.

It’s easy. Head to www.BeeCard.co.nz and follow instructions. Check out these great videos supplied by Bay of Plenty Regional Council who are also rolling out the Bee Card.

Bee Card – Register your card

Bee Card – Create an account

Bee Card – Manage your card

Top up your Otago Bee Card at www.BeeCard.co.nz.

Dunedin 
Otago Regional Council offices
70 Stafford Street or Level 2
144 Rattray Street, Philip Laing House

University Bookshop (all locations)

Dunedin City Council
Customer Service Centres in the Octagon and Mosgiel from 24 August.  Other DCC Customer Service Centres will have these available soon.  

Queenstown 
Otago Regional Council office:
Terrace Junction
1092 Frankton Road

Stanley Street ticket hut from Monday 24 August.

We encourage everyone to register their card and top up online to help speed up boarding on the bus and reduce interactions with drivers under the current COVID environment.

Retailers will have contactless (payWave or Eftpos) payment, but buses are not loaded with this technology so CASH only.

The minimum top up will be $5.

Check your account at www.BeeCard.co.nz to see your orders and cards.

Ensure you have placed your order – you’ll see the confirmation “Your payment was successful.”

It should take 5 days to come via the post.

If you need any assistance, get in contact with us at the Otago Regional Council on 0800 ORBUSDN (672 8736).

No, however under this current COVID climate it has become even more important to be able to top up online and track your own travel. Both these features are available when you register your card. 

Other benefits to registering online include loading concessions and linking to and managing other cards, such as family members.

As at 17 August, under Otago's Alert Level 2, you will still be able to top up with retailers and drivers once the system is live, however this may change which is why we are encouraging you to please register your card. 

Yes. Just like you did with a GoCard, you will get cheaper fares with a Bee Card than paying in cash.

In Dunedin, fares are part of a trial to be reviewed toward the end of 2020.

 

 

Bee Card

Cash

Adult

$2

$3

Child (5 - 18 years)*

$1.20

$3

Child (under 5)

Free

Free

SuperGold*

Free

Free

In Queenstown fares revert back to pre-COVID fares at $2 per adult, and $1.50 for 5-18 year olds. 

SuperGold Card holders travel free until the end of the year under the flat fare trial in Dunedin and Queenstown. 

These fares include a free transfer within 45 minutes from one bus to the next.

Find out more about the flat fare trial in Dunedin here.

Check out this great video of Dunedin passengers giving the Bee Card a go. 

  • The first tag will take a few seconds longer than usual – just present your card across the scanner near the door and wait for the beep. That is how you know it has worked.
  • Bee Cards activate when they are tagged, so if you’ve topped up online but it says ‘pending balance’ don’t worry, it’ll pull through the funds when you tag on
  • Online top ups can take up to 12 hours, so don’t top up 5 minutes before your journey
  • Concession changes may take 30 minutes to pull through, so don’t register your child’s concession right before the journey or they will end up being charged the adult fare.
  • If your balance says you were charged $3 but you’re sure you tagged on and off, it may just be the system processing the information. Check later!

Do not forget to tag off!

When a Bee Card user swipes their card as they enter - tagging on -  the system recognises where they are travelling from.

When they tag off, it closes the loop and charges a passenger for their travel. Forget to tag off and you get charged a default fare, which is the $3 flat cash fare. 

Tagging off also ensures you won't be charged if you have changed buses within the free transfer window of 45 minutes from the last tag off. 

Tagging on and off also gives us rich data about where people travel helping us improve the network according to people's travel habits. 

To get a concession discount you need to register your Bee Card at www.beecard.co.nz. Once it’s on there, you won’t need to show the driver your ID. You just tag on and off, and the system will recognise your concession discount.

SuperGold Card holders travel free all day on buses until the end of the year as part of an ORC ‘flat fare’ trial.

Even though travel is free, we encourage you to still get a Bee Card and load your gold card details both so we can better understand where and when SuperGold Card holders travel, but also for when we return to 9am-3pm off peak free travel.

For some older folks, it's a bit harder to get out and about. Don't worry, we are working with retirement homes, support agencies and other means to get a card in your hands and help you get registered. 

If you’re 5-18 years old, you will need to load your concession to get the discounted fare.

Even under Alert Level 2, we can help you register the card and load your concession at our offices in Dunedin and Queenstown. 

Feel free to call and get some assistance to 'Bee' ready. 

Yes, you will be able to transfer money from your GoCard to your Bee Card until around the end of October. There is an easy digital form at www.orc.govt.nz/BalanceTransfer or you can visit ORC, in Dunedin and Queenstown.

It will take a few days to process the transfer, but fares are free for a while so you’ll still be able to travel while the transfer is being processed.

You can also donate your credit to the travel bank. 

You might share your email address with others in your family.

 

The Bee Card doesn’t allow for the same email address for more than one account, BUT it does allow you to have up to 100 cards linked to the same account.

 

Once you have created an account at www.BeeCard.co.nz select 'Register card to account'  and enter the Bee Card number of the additional card.

 

Once you have entered the Bee Card number, the card name will have the account holder name defaulted. To change these details, select 'Manage Card' then 'Edit Card Holder' and enter the name and DOB of whom you wish to assign the card to.

  

Alternatively, pop by our office and we can give you cards without having to top them up, and link them to your account for you.

When a Bee Card user changes buses as part of their commute, they will get a free transfer, so long as they change buses within 45 minutes.

The system has improved thanks to the tag on tag off technologyWhen you tag off one bus and tag on your new bus within 45 minutes, you won’t get charged.  

You’ll need to tag off your second bus for entire process to work, because the system needs all the date on-boarding and off-boarding data. It’s all electronic so you don’t need to talk to the driver or keep a ticket. Just make sure you are changing buses within the time frame, and tagging on and off 

When a Bee Card user swipes their card as they enter - tagging on -  the system recognises where they are travelling from.

When they tag off, it closes the loop and charges a passenger for their travel. Forget to tag off and you get charged a default fare, which is the $3 flat cash fare. 

Tagging off also ensures you won't be charged if you have changed buses within the free transfer window of 45 minutes from the last tag off. 

Tagging on and off also gives us rich data about where people travel helping us improve the network according to people's travel habits. 

Children 4 and under are free, so they don’t need a Bee Card until they turn 5. Just tell the driver your child is under 5 when boarding.

If you try to register your under 5 year old on www.BeeCard.co.nz when you register other family members you will find that the Bee Card system won’t recognise the age as it’s free of charge in the system. The best thing to do is hold on to the card and give it to them when they turn 5.  

When you order cards via the website, and apply a top up, the balance will remain at $0.00 until the you have activated the card upon arrival.

To do this, you need to activate the card on the website using the 3-digit security code on the back of the card. Once this is done, the balance will display as ‘Pending’ until tagged on a bus, when it will change to cash value balance.

Top ups only show immediately if your Bee Card has been placed on a Bee Card machine (such as on the bus top ups or at an ORC office).

All other top ups, including online top ups can take up to 12 hours to show on your card. 

When available it will display as a pending balance until the first time you tag on after the top up. 

To see a pending balance, log

  1. Go to BeeCard.co.nz and log into your account
  2. Select ‘Manage Card’ on the Bee Card you need to activate

This will then open the card details, with pending balance displayed.

This may be because you have not activated the card using the 3-digit security code. Once this has been done, the card will work.

To activate your card:

  1. Go to BeeCard.co.nz and log into your account
  2. Select ‘Manage Card’ on the Bee Card you need to activate
  3. Select ‘Activate Card’ an enter the 3 digit security code that is on the back of your Bee Card

Note - some mobile devices don’t show the full screen so you may need to do this from a larger tablet or laptop

Or you may have been given unissued card,you can talk to our customer service support in person or by phone for assistance with this.

The processing of this request can take up to 2 weeks for us to complete because of the sheer volume of requests.

If you'd provided us with a mobile number or email address when you submitted your request, you'll receive a text or email when this has been completed. 

Once completed, the balance transferred will display as a pending balance until the first time you tag on.

You can ask our customer service team for support with this at the Otago Regional Council in person or by phone.

In Dunedin, call 0800 ORBUSDN (0800 672 8736).

In Queenstown call 0800 ORBUSQT (0800 672 8778).

Or email transport@orc.govt.nz.

Concession changes may take 30 minutes to pull through from time it is changed on the website. 

If the concession was loaded more than 30 minutes ago, check the account and update the card accordingly.

You can ask our customer service team for support with this at the Otago Regional Council in person or by phone.

In Dunedin, call 0800 ORBUSDN (0800 672 8736).

In Queenstown call 0800 ORBUSQT (0800 672 8778).

Or email transport@orc.govt.nz.

If you forget your password, you can reset it by clicking ‘forget password’ on the login screen on the website.

Alternatively, this can be actioned via our customer service support at the Otago Regional Council in person or by phone. Once done, you will be sent an email prompt with the temporary password.

If you’ve lost your card, you can either cancel and replace via the website, or via our customer service support at the Otago Regional Council in person or by phone.

On the website, select the card you want to cancel, and on the right-hand side of the page, select ‘lost/stolen card’

You need to allow time for all actions to be processed. For web top ups, it could take up to 12 hours. For changes to things like concessions or date of birth, we suggest waiting a minimum of 30 minutes before trying to use this card, as the action may not have processed.

For example, don’t change Jimmy’s card to be a child concession at 8.25am and put him on a bus for 8.30 - he will be charged an adult fare. After that 30 minutes window has passed, the bus should have received that update, and he will be charged a child fare.

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