What can I take on the bus?

For the safety, comfort and convenience of our passengers, Otago Regional Council has worked with bus companies to develop a set of carriage guidelines.

Pushchairs and strollers


If requested by your bus driver, please fold your pram or stroller to make room for others.
If you are using an accessible seating area, wheelchair passengers have priority.

Scooters, skates and skateboards 


All items must be carried on by hand. If possible, scooters should be folded before boarding. Skates may not be worn.

Service dogs 


This includes guide and hearing dogs, and puppies in training. Your dog must be on a lead and sit on the floor.


not yet 

 Pets are allowed on buses. Further information about pets on buses

Surfboards, skis or snowboards


There is not enough room for surfboards or snow equipment, skis and snowboards on the bus. Bike racks cannot be used to carry snow equipment, skis and snowboards or surfboards as they are for bikes only.

Mobility/motorised scooters 


These are not allowed on the bus.



For more information on wheelchairs view our accessibility information.



 Read below



Other carry-on items

Within reason, other items can be taken on board, however space can be limited so please check with the bus operator before you travel.  

No eating, drinking or smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is allowed on buses at any time.

Food or drinks may be brought onto the bus provided the items are in a closed container.

Unsuitable items include:

  • Fragile or delicate items that are not sufficiently packaged to withstand carriage by bus.
  • Full or empty containers of flammable fuels, such petrol/diesel containers, LPG cylinders and other gas bottles.
  • Explosives including fireworks and any type of firearm or offensive weapon.
  • Poisonous, toxic, or hazardous substance.
  • Vehicle batteries.
  • Animals (except in accordance with Council’s Code of Conduct for bus passengers).
  • Large items that won’t fit between seats.
  • Any other item deemed unsafe by the bus driver or Bus Company.

Passengers are solely responsible for ensuring that their property is secure while on the bus.  Neither the operator or the Otago Regional Council accepts any responsibility whatsoever for any loss or damage to your property however caused.


Taking your bike on the bus

All urban buses now have bike racks so you have more options for getting around town – and your bike travels for free.

Good to know:

  • Bike racks can carry up to two bikes at a time.
  • They’re designed for wheels larger than 16” (41cm) in diameter.
  • Let the driver know right away if you have problems with the bike racks.
  • Children’s bikes may be allowed on the bus at the driver’s discretion, and must be securely held by the passenger.
  • e-bikes can be mounted on buses however there is a weight restriction. No bike may weigh more than 25 kgs. See more below.


Thanks to Bayhopper and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council for this great video showing how to use a bike rack. Our Orbus bike racks are exactly the same – easy to use, with two on each bus.



Using the bike rack:

To load:

  1. Let the bus driver know you’re going to load your bike.
  2. Squeeze the bike rack handle up to release.
  3. Lower rack until it is horizontal.
  4. Lift your bike onto rack with the front wheel facing towards the yellow arm.
  5. Fit the wheels into the clearly labelled slots.
  6. Lift the support arm to ‘hook’ over the front wheel to secure the bike.

To unload:

  1. Make sure the bus driver knows you’re going to unload your bike.
  2. Unhook the support arm to free the front wheel.
  3. Lift your bike from the rack.
  4. If no one else is using the rack, squeeze the handle to fold the rack back up. For safety reasons, the bus can’t depart until this is done.
  5. Step away and carry on your journey.

It’s your responsibility to load and unload your bike. For safety reasons, our bus drivers are not able to assist you. Please don’t take it personally when they stay in the bus!


Electric and other bikes

E-bikes can be mounted on buses however there is a weight restriction. No bike may weigh more than 25 kgs.

Are there restrictions on wheel size?

Yes, wheels sizes may only be between 16”/40.6cm and 29”/73cm/700c and up to 3”/7.62cm width. The maximum wheelbase dimension is up to 44”/111cm.

Can I store my petrol-powered bike?

Electric bikes with sealed gel, lithium ion or NiCad batteries are permitted. Electric bikes with liquid lead acid batteries are not permitted. Petrol and other similarly powered bikes are not permitted.

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