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.

You will need to use your Bee Card on Orbus as of September 1 in Dunedin and mid-September in Queenstown.

To be ready, get your Otago Bee Card online for free from www.BeeCard.co.nz, from your friendly bus driver or at our ORC offices.

Orbus is free until we start using the Bee Card.

No, and you can still top up with retailers and drivers once the system is live. However, there are benefits to registering online, including topping up, loading concessions and auto top ups, linking to and managing other cards, such as family members.

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

Yes, although 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.

Get your Otago Bee Card online from www.BeeCard.co.nz, from your friendly bus driver or at our ORC offices located at 70 Stafford Street and 144 Rattray Street, Level 2, Philip Laing House. They are free until late October.

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

We are looking at launching a flat fare in Dunedin when we start using the Bee Card.

It would be $2 per adult per single trip (including students and GoExtra holders) and $1.50 for 5-18 year olds. This includes a transfer within 45 minutes from one bus to the next. Until that time, Orbus is free to use.

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

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.

Super Gold Card holders can currently travel free on Orbus. In mid-August, our council decides on whether they adopt a temporary flat fare structure. If they do, Gold Card holders travel free all day on buses until the end of the year. If not, we will go back to free Gold Card travel from 9am-3pm when we start using Bee Cards on buses on September 1.  Either way, we encourage you to get a Bee Card. We can help you register the card and load your concession so you are ready any time. When you start using your Bee Card, remember you can still interact with drivers, and if you do want to tag on, don’t forget to tag off.  

 

If you don’t get a Bee Card until later, don’t worry as we have plenty of time to work with you to ‘bee’ ready.

 

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

Bee Cards will be free when ordering online until the last region to adopt the Bee Card goes live, which may be as late as October. 

Bee Cards that are handed out on buses and at demo days will be free for a limited period during the Orbus promotions, during August in Dunedin and September in Queenstown. 

You'll be able to load credit on to your card online, at retailers and at this stage by cash on the bus. 

We are working through the options of how you can transfer credit, or even possibly donate left-over funds to a charity. We will be able to provide you with more details closer to when we release the Bee Card. 

Super Gold Card holders can currently travel free on Orbus. In mid-August, our council decides on whether they adopt a temporary flat fare structure. If they do, Gold Card holders travel free all day on buses until the end of the year. If not, we will go back to free Gold Card travel from 9am-3pm when we start using Bee Cards on buses on September 1.  Either way, we encourage you to get a Bee Card. We can help you register the card and load your concession so you are ready any time. When you start using your Bee Card, remember you can still interact with drivers, and if you do want to tag on, don’t forget to tag off. 

If you don’t get a Bee Card until later, don’t worry as we have plenty of time to work with you 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.

The idea for this originally came from the Bus Users Support Group Ōtepoti Dunedin.

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, closes the loop and charges a passenger for their travel. Forget to tag off and you get charged a default fare. At this stage that fare depends on what council decides about the flat fare. It is likely to be $3, the flat fare 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 in Queenstown travel and when helping us improve the network according to people's travel habits. 

Orbus remains fare free until we launch the Bee Card. 

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.  

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