Frequently Asked Questions

Updated February 2021

   

Masks coverings are required under all alert levels since 17 February 2021

Under Alert Level 1, distancing is no longer required.

In Alert Levels 2, physical distancing is required on the bus. Do not sit next to anyone unless you're travelling with them. If you're travelling alone sit in a window seat. 

You should try to keep a 2m distance from one another at bus stops. 

Entry is still at the front door. 

For Level 3, physical distancing increases to 2 metres on buses, so please leave a row and aisle free between other passengers. 

This will reduce capacity even further so please only catch the bus if it’s that’s the only way you can get around.

Please be considerate and kind to fellow passengers as we all adjust to these developments.  

Can I wear a buff or scarf?

Please refer to the official COVID page to see what face coverings are acceptable, but it does say you can use another kind of covering, like a bandana, scarf or t-shirt. 

Will a driver deny me entry if I don't wear a face covering?

Bus drivers and other passengers may ask you to wear a mask, but it is your responsibility to follow these requirements. Please be kind and considerate to your fellow passengers and drivers while we get through this.

They do not need to be worn:  

  • by children under 12 
  • on school buses 
  • on charter or group tours  
  • on inter-island ferries 
  • on private scenic flights.

These groups are likely to be in each other’s bubbles as part of a registered group or have space to physically distance where possible.

Also, face coverings do not need to be worn:  

  • by passengers of small passenger vehicles, such as taxis and Uber. Drivers will be required to wear face coverings  
  • by people with a disability or physical or mental health condition which makes it difficult to wear a face covering  
  • if it’s not safe, for example by pilots if it affects their vision.  

There will be other times when it's not required. For example: 

  • In an emergency. 
  • If it’s not safe. 
  • If people need to prove their identity. 
  • To communicate with someone who is deaf. 
  • If required by law.

Under Alert Levels 1 and 2: there is no change to frequency of services. 

Under Alert Level 3: In 2020, we moved to a reduced Saturday frequency for all routes Mon-Sat, with Sunday remaining as is. Palmerston services won't change. Physical distancing will be 2 metres apart so this will reduce capacity even more. 

Generally, in alert levels 2 and above where possible, please travel off-peak. This will help spread capacity and the ability to get people moving around when they need while still keeping up safe distancing measures in buses. Our peak times are around 7:30 and 3pm.

There is no change to school buses under Alert Level 2.
Under Alert Level 3 the level of service will change due to physical distancing. There may be a need to put duplicate buses on busy runs for school students.

The tag on tag off bus card enables passengers to move swiftly on to the bus, tagging on the reader and reducing interactions with drivers and other passengers. 

If you register your card you can also top up online, again reducing interactions with drivers or customer services representatives at your usual top up location.  

You will also be able to see your travel.

For all Otago Bee Card questions, click here to access the FAQs. 

When Otago is under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, the government requirements change. If you use Total Mobility, we ask that you please take note of the following:

  • Wear a mask if you can, but note below it is not mandatory for passengers.
  • Scan the QR Code in your taxi using your COVID app on your phone. If you don’t have this, write down your travel in a book, noting the time, destination and company you travelled with.
  • Practice good hygiene. 
  • Stay home if you’re unwell.

Find out more about Total Mobility here.

Face coverings do not need to be worn:  

  • by passengers of small passenger vehicles, such as taxis and Uber. Drivers will be required to wear face coverings  
  • by people with a disability or physical or mental health condition which makes it difficult to wear a face covering  
  • if it’s not safe, for example by pilots if it affects their vision.  

Yes please. 

Each bus has a unique QR code using the official government COVID app. 

you’re unable to scan the codes:

🐝 Open the app and enter a manual entry that will be saved to your travel diary.

🐝 Turn on bluetooth tracing.

🐝 You can also keep your own diary, for example by taking a photo of the bus as it arrives.

🐝 Registered Bee Card holders can also find travel data via their transaction history (go to manage card), though in an emergency the COVID app data is better for quicker tracing.

If you don't get a chance, you can also use our tracking form here

The 0800 ORBUS phone numbers will continue to operate as normal (24/7) in any level.

In Dunedin call 0800 ORBUSDN (0800 672 8736)

In Queenstown call 0800 ORBUSQT (0800 672 8778)

Keep up to date with information on our Facebook pages, OrbusQT and OrbusDN. 

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