Catching a bus to school in Dunedin
Thinking about taking the bus to school? Or perhaps you already have been catching the bus but have heard there may be some changes. Find out more below.
First time users
If you are catching a bus on the Orbus network to school for the first time, everything you need to know is on the website including journey planning, Dunedin fare information, Bee Card information and real time tracking with the Transit app. A Bee Card fare is cheaper than a cash fare and when you register it you are eligible for concessions including a youth fare for 5-18 year olds, which is cheaper still.
Changes in Dunedin to support students
The Otago Regional Council is helping school students get to and from school after Otago Road Services ended their school bus services.
Starting Wednesday 16 February, the extended route 40C, a service provided by ORC which normally travels between Lookout Point and South Dunedin, will depart from Green Island at 8am (instead of instead of 8:25) and depart from Macandrew Road via Kings and Queens Schools at 3:15pm to return to Green Island. This will support students travelling from Green Island or transferring at Green Island to reach King’s and Queen’s High Schools.
Please note: From Wednesday 16 February onwards, there is no longer an 8:25 bus; all students must get on the 8am bus.
To view more information about the route changes, click here.
As previously announced, the 8:18am route 70 bus from Green Island will be extended to continue to Kaikorai Valley College without stopping after leaving Green Island. The 3:05pm route 70 bus will head back from Kaikorai Valley College to Green Island in the opposite direction.
Green Island will be a key transfer point for students travelling from farther afield.
To view more information about the route changes, click here.
Please note, there is no change to services 5D, 6E, 6D (details below).
If you are in Dunedin and have been catching a bus to school, but it's not an Orbus, your journey may be changing and you may need to catch a new bus (see above), and/or transfer on to the Orbus public transport network. This is because Ministry of Education (MOE) school bus services operated by Otago Road Services have ceased or are operated by another operator with a different route at the start of School Term 1 2022. In some instances, the services will take you as far as the public transport network, where students will have to transfer onto an Orbus and use a Bee Card.
You may not even realise your journey is changing, so if you catch a bus to school and it is NOT on the Orbus public network, contact your school and/or find out more below in the frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding the changes to Dunedin MOE services
How do I know if I’m affected?
If you catch an Orbus bus to school now and use your Bee Card, you won’t be affected. Orbus routes are not changing.
If, however, you caught an Otago Road Services service or a school operated service, contact your school to find out what’s changed.
Kaikorai Valley College information
Kaikorai Valley College has already made some changes. Read more here.
Taieri College information
Find out more here.
What is a Bee Card? Do I need it?
Catching the bus with the Bee Card is simple and cheap. As well as access to cheaper fares in nine regions around New Zealand, including Otago, and an easy tag on tag off system, you can register your card to top up online, enjoy concessions and manage multiple cards.
If you or your child will be taking the public bus to school this year, make sure you’re ready before the start of term:
- Get your Bee Card at www.beecard.co.nz, from the ORC office on Level 2 of Philip Laing House, DCC customer service centres (including libraries in Mosgiel, Port Chalmers and Blueskin Bay) or the University Bookshop, or with CASH on the bus.
- The card is $5 and you need a minimum $5 top-up.
- Your Bee Card can be ‘loaded’ with a youth concession for cheaper fares. To do that, register your Bee Card here.
- Your fare information is here.
- Top up at the above retailers, online or with CASH on the bus. Make sure your Bee Card has funds loaded onto it, to avoid having to top up with the driver on the first day of school. Top your Bee Card up here.
- You can also set up an auto top up, and share accounts so other poeple can top up your card.
What if I don’t have a Bee Card on day one of school starting?
You can pay for your Orbus service with cash. If you catch a second bus as part of your journey to/from school, you may be eligible for a free transfer (read more below). Without a Bee Card, you will have to pay for both buses.
Can I transfer between bus services?
You may need to transfer between bus services. If you need to take two buses as part of your commute, your Bee Card will help get your fare cheaper.
When a Bee Card user changes buses within 45 minutes, they get a free transfer.
You should tag on your next bus within 45 minutes of tagging off your last bus.
Remember to tag off the second bus too.
Is my bus stop the same?
If you catch an Orbus public bus, your stop will not change.
Kaikorai Valley College students, click here for more info.
If you caught an Otago Road Services bus, or another operator and you aren’t sure, please contact your school to find out who your bus operator is. You can then work out where your stop will be, and if you need to take more than one bus.
What about COVID-19 regulations?
If this is your first time catching a public transport bus, please also remember our COVID-19 safety requirements. These mean you must wear a face covering on the bus and scan onto the bus using the NZ COVID Tracer app or by keeping your own records. Read more here.
Where can I find more information about Orbus?
Orbus is Dunedin’s public transport network (we also operate in Queenstown).
If you have more questions, check out our FAQs, or contact our customer services team.
Route changes for schools
Click on '+' to expand and see the route changes.
Route 40C - Green Island - Kings/Queens/Bathgate Park
To allow for students from Green Island and further out to get into the city to attend Kings and Queens High school, route 40C (an existing school service) has been modified slightly to extend to Green Island.
The service now also operates in the morning, allowing a direct connection from Green Island to the schools. (Route 40C was previously an afternoon only service, extending from the schools to Lookout Point.)
From Wednesday 16 February, the morning service departs at 8am from Green Island Super Stop (inbound), and travels (without stopping) to the high schools (this replaces the previous 8:25am bus which will not be running from Wednesday 16 February).
- The arrival time should be between 8:10am and 8:20am depending on traffic.
In the afternoon, the service departs at 3:15pm from Bathgate Park school. The bus then does a loop, travelling around Bay View Rd to the front of Kings and Queens schools, picking up students. The service drops students off up to lookout point, then travels direct to Green Island.
- Estimated arrival time at Green Island Super Stop (outbound) is between 3:35pm – 3:40pm, depending on traffic.
Route 70 - Green Island - KVC Route
To allow for students to get from Green Island to Kaikorai Valley College, Route 70 has been modified to extend as far as the school in the morning and the afternoon.
The route 70 from Brighton arrives at 8.18am, and after connecting with the 77 (city), will travel from Green Island Super Stop (inbound) to KVC, arriving at approximately 8.30am.
In the afternoons, the service will depart from KVC at 3.05pm, travelling to Green Island and terminating at Green Island Super Stop (Outbound). Students can transfer to the Route 77 service to Mosgiel at 3.29pm or to the 70 service to Brighton at 4pm.
Route 37/38 - KVC connecting services
Students can use services 37 and 38 to access Kaikorai Valley College. Route 38 travels from the University to Concord, via KVC. Students can transfer from services 44, 55 & 33 (heading toward city) at 117 Taieri Rd/ Taieri Rd, Nairn St intersection.
33 – City (from Wakari) arrives at 8.10am
44 – City (from HB) arrives at 8.27am
55 – City (from BV) arrives at 8.13am
38 – Concord arrives at 8.35am
To allow for routes 37 to connect well with the hill suburbs of Brockville, Halfway Bush and Wakari, a minor change has been agreed for service 44 (St Kilda – Halfway Bush) in the afternoon.
The timetable has the Halfway Bush service departing before the 37 arrives from KVC. This bus (44 to Halfway Bush) will wait past its scheduled departure time for the 37 to arrive and students to transfer.
37 – Uni (from KVC) arrives at 3.34pm
44 – HB (from city) arrives at 3.28pm
55 – BV (from city) arrives at 3.43pm
33 – Wakari (from City) arrives at 3.41pm
In accordance with the Regional Public Transport Plan 2014, we have been progressively phasing out Regional Council operated school services.
At the moment we are still operating the following school-specific services:
5D 8:35am Pine Hill to Logan Park High School
Travels from the Pine Hill terminus via Pine Hill Rd, Bank St, Great King St North, Cumberland St North (SH1), Dundas St, and Butts Rd to Logan Park High School.
6E 3:35pm Logan Park High School to Opoho and Pine Hill
Travels from Logan Park High School via Butts Rd, Dundas St, Lovelock Ave and Signal Hill Rd to Opoho terminus at corner of Signal Hill Rd and Northfield Ave. Then via Signal Hill Rd, Dundas St, Great King St North (SH1), Great King St North, Bank St, and Pine Hill Rd to the Pine Hill terminus.
6D 3:05pm Dunedin North Intermediate to Pine Hill
Travels from Dunedin North Intermediate via North Rd, Bank St and Pine Hill Rd to the Pine Hill terminus.