Total Mobility

Total Mobility is a nationwide scheme that provides subsidised travel to help people stay connected within their community


Applying for Total Mobility
Frequently asked questions
New operators
New assessment agencies


Applying for Total Mobility

Eligibility for Total Mobility is based on having an impairment that prevents you from using public transport independently and in a safe, dignified manner.

If this describes you or someone you are supporting, you can apply for a Total Mobility card through one of our assessment agencies. Get in contact with one of the agencies listed below, and they will take you through the process.




Age Concern Otago

03 479 3058 

  • Members
  • Annual membership costs $25 and is available to people over 65 years old
  • Available in Balclutha

CCS Dunedin

03 477 4117   

  • Available to CCS members 


Livingwell Disability Resource Centre

0800 115 891 or 03 471 6152 

  • Available to general public
  • One-off fee of $30. Home-based assessments, also available in Balclutha, Central Otago, and Oamaru


Epilepsy NZ

027 221 6183 

  • Service available to people with epilepsy
  • No cost
  • Based in Southland, available across Otago 


Idea Services Dunedin 

03 466 3850 

  •  General public, no cost


Multiple Sclerosis Society

03 455 5894  or 027 88 99035 

  • Members
  • Annual membership costs $30 for individuals and $50 for a family
  • Available monthly in Balclutha and bi-monthly in Central Otago


MDA South Island     

027 509 8775
0800 800 337 

  • Service available to people with neuromuscular conditions
  • No cost
  • Based in Dunedin, available across Otago



03 477 4312 

General public, no cost


Parkinsonism Society of NZ  

03 262 7040 

  • Member
  • Annual membership is $30
  • Available across Otago


Presbyterian Support Otago 

03 477 7115 

  • General public
  • No cost
  • Home assessments available on request
  • May occasionally be available for assessments in Balclutha


Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind   

03 466 4230

  • Members
  • There is no cost to membership, which is available to people with vision loss
  • Based in Dunedin, assessors travel regularly across Otago


Stroke Foundation  

03 471 6175 

  • Service available to those that have experienced a stroke
  • No cost
  • Assessors based  in Dunedin and Oamaru, other parts of Otago receive several visits per year 


The Dunedin RSA Trust 

03 466 4886 

  • Members
  • Membership $65, discounted for those over 90 and/or rest home residents. 

CCS Disability Action

03 437 9005 

  • General public
  • Costs $20 which gives an annual membership


Stroke Foundation

03 434 0247 

  • Service available to those that have experienced a stroke
  • No cost
  • Assessors based in Dunedin and Oamaru; other parts of Otago receive several visits per year


Age Concern

Age Concern Southland

03 441 3490                                  


DRC Southland

03 214 5000       


Enliven Southland                                   

Community Networks Wānaka

03 443 7799

  • General public
  • No cost
  • Potentially available for remote assessments outside Wānaka



Transport operators

Nathan's Taxis

027 804 0592


Yello! Cabs

0800 443 5555 

Airport Shuttles

0800 477 800

  • Wheelchair access available

Big Johns Mobility Express

0800 566 893

  • Wheelchair access available

Driving Miss Daisy (Dunedin North)

03 467 5017

021 503 298

  • Wheelchair access available


Driving Miss Daisy (Dunedin South)

03 486 2033

  • Wheelchair access available


Dunedin Taxis

03 477 7777

  • Wheelchair access available


Freedom Companion Drivers Dunedin

03 471 8177


Mobility Vehicles Dunedin

022 089 3665

  • Wheelchair access available


Urban Link

03 471 9000

  • Wheelchair access available


03 434 6323


Driving Miss Daisy (Oamaru)

03 434 8421


Whitestone Taxis

03 434 1234

  • Wheelchair access available 

Wana Taxi

0800 926 282


Yello! Cabs

0800 443 5555


Queenstown Taxis

03 442 7788


Frequently asked questions

Total Mobility is a nationwide scheme funded by the government and run by regional councils that provides subsidised travel to help people stay connected within their community. 

If you have a disability that prevents you from using public transport, you could be eligible for a 75% subsidy (terms and conditions apply) with approved taxi and rideshare operators to help you travel around parts of Otago. 

In Otago, the scheme is currently available through operators based in Dunedin, Oamaru, Queenstown and Wānaka. 

The subsidy is 75% of the fare, up to a maximum of $37.50. If the total fare is more than $50 the client must meet the additional cost. 

Example 1: 

A $20 trip would cost you, the client, $5 (75% discount). The remainder is charged to the Otago Regional Council. 

Example 2: 

A $60 trip is over the maximum threshold of $50. Therefore, the maximum subsidy of $37.50 will be charged to the ORC and the remaining $22.50 would be charged to you, the client. 

Please note that the level of subsidy may vary in the future.   

Your assessing agency will note in your eligibility assessment that you are a hoist user, and you should not be charged the time it takes to hoist and remove your wheelchair. In other words, the meter will start when the driver starts driving.

If your situation changes over time (you may not have needed hoist assistance when you were first given a Total Mobility Card) contact your assessing agency who will update your information on your behalf.

An impairment can be physical, psychological, neurological, intellectual, sensory, or other. Short-term impairments (less than six months) are not eligible.

If your impairment means that you cannot do all of the following in a safe and dignified manner, you could be eligible for Total Mobility:

  • Get to a local bus stop
  • Get onto the bus
  • Ride the bus
  • Get off the bus
  • Get from the bus stop to your destination

There are other sources of funding for certain travel needs. These include:

  • ACC
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Education
  • Workbridge
  • Rest home transport

Rest home providers that receive government funding are responsible for meeting the cost of transporting residents for stipulated health and medical services.

If other funding sources are available, they should be utilised ahead of Total Mobility. This is to the user’s benefit, as the level of subsidy is greater.

However, even if you have access to alternative funding sources, they may only cover some travel needs. If this leaves other transport needs unmet, you may still want access to Total Mobility to serve these needs.

You will need to be assessed by one of our approved assessors.

Contact an assessing agency directly. The assessor will be able to advise whether you are eligible as soon as they have completed the assessment.

Some agencies are able to perform Total Mobility assessments at no cost, while others charge a one-off fee or require you to be a paid member of their organisation. Some agencies serve specific types of impairments.

Assessing agencies and their staff are based in specific cities and towns, but some travel around Otago from time to time. In-person assessments are encouraged, but if this is not practical for any reason, some assessors will be willing to perform assessments remotely (by phone or video link).

The assessment usually takes 20-30 minutes and will include taking a photo of you for your Total Mobility swipe card. Assessments usually take place at the agency office, but some agencies perform home visits (either exclusively, or on request). 

If your impairment significantly interferes with your ability to freely use public transport, you could be eligible for Total Mobility, even though you can sometimes take public transport.

Eligibility is based on whether your impairment would restrict your ability to use a local bus service, if it existed. The outcome of your assessment should not depend on where you live, so long as it is in Otago.

Anyone living in Otago with a disability is potentially eligible for Total Mobility through the ORC, so if you would find a use for Total Mobility, you can apply.

A Total Mobility Card looks like this:

Total Mobility Card example

  1. Contact an approved Total Mobility Transport Operator to book a trip.
  2. Let them know that yo are a Total Mobility client and if your require a hoist vehicle.
  3. Some operators need to swipe your Total Mobility car at the start of the trip so please always show your driver your card before you start your journey.
  4. Enjoy your journey.
  5. Swipe the Total Mobility Car at the end of the trip (the end of your trip is the first location you are travelling to) and pay your portion to the driver.
  6. Keep a receipt of your payment.


A ‘trip’ or ‘journey’ is defined as traveling from Point A to Point B.  

For example: Point A (Home) to Point B (Shop) – the meter is stopped and the driver is paid.  

A ‘round trip’ is defined as travelling from Point A, to Point B, to Point A with the meter running the entire time.   

For example: Home (Point A)  to Shop (Point B)  to Home (Point A) 

This is not valid and should be counted as 2 trips. 

To get the subsidised fare, you must pay at the completion of each trip. 

Users should be able to participate in the community just as they would by regular public transport, so there are no strict limits on usage. 

If you are taking a lot of trips, our systems will notify us. If there is anything suspicious, we will look into it, but if you are just busy and going to a lot of places, there should be no issue. 

Yes – however as the eligible Total Mobility user, you are required to remain in the vehicle for the entire duration that your companion travels.

Your caregiver may not use your card for their own travel.

If you stop at Point A and a caregiver collects goods or runs an errand on your behalf, this is regarded as a single trip. The meter should be stopped and the driver paid even if the caregiver is only a few minutes, even if the client does not get out of the vehicle. See above for more information about trip eligibility.

Not all taxi and rideshare operators provide Total Mobility services. Please check at the time of booking that the transport operator is part of the Total Mobility scheme. A full list of operators can be found here.

Get in contact with our Customer Service team to arrange for a replacement to be sent. 

If your address has not changed, you should receive a replacement card in the mail close to the expiry date. 

If your address has changed since you last got your Total Mobility card in the mail, please get in contact with Customer Service to ensure we have the correct address on file. 

If your card has expired and you have not received a replacement, get in contact with Customer service. 

Even if your card has expired, we will ensure that it continues to work until you receive the replacement. 

If you do not use Total Mobility for several years, or we are unsure of your mobility needs or your address, we may seek confirmation of your status through your assessing agency when your card is due to expire. None the less, please get in contact with Customer Service if your card is expiring/broken/lost and you want a replacement.

Total Mobility services are available in every region of New Zealand and can be used when “out of town”.

Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and the West Coast still require paper vouchers – please contact the ORC customer service team at least 10 days before you travel to have “out of town vouchers” posted to you.

In every other region, your Total Mobility card will be accepted in the vehicles of participating transport operators.

Each region has its own subsidy limit; in some regions this varies between towns.

For more information on Total Mobility in other regions, please visit the region’s Total Mobility webpage. These are linked here:



West Coast (vouchers required) 


Nelson City and Tasman 




Gisborne (vouchers required) 

Hawke’s Bay (vouchers required) 


Bay of Plenty 



If you lose an item or have queries about distances or times, get in contact with your operator. 

If your situation changes, contact your Assessment Agency. 

If you have other issues, get in contact with either your Assessment Agency, or directly with us at the Otago Regional Council. 


New operators

We are always on the lookout for new Total Mobility providers across Otago.

By becoming a Total Mobility provider, you’ll be making a difference to the people whose transport needs are the greatest – and you’ll be accessing a wider market that will make your operation more competitive.

Please note the following:

  • Drivers must have appropriate qualifications: Unit Standard 1748, Unit Standard 15165 (for drivers of hoist-equipped vehicles only).
  • Vehicles must be less than 9 years old and have mileage less than 250,000km. Council has discretion to grant a written exemption to these requirements.
  • You will require a payment terminal that accepts Total Mobility cards.
  • As an ORC contractor you will need to have a health and safety policy, and to receive health and safety approval; see below.

More detailed information about requirements for operators can be found in the full Total Mobility contract. For informational purposes only, a blank contract can be found [here].

If you want to proceed, the first steps are:

  • Get in touch with the Total Mobility Coordinator to let us know your interest: either call Customer Service, or email
  • Fill out the New Supplier Request Form and the medium/high risk health and safety form, both available here, and send both to

From here, if we are interested in proceeding we will send you a contract to sign, and will work through further steps and checks to get you onboard.


New assessment agencies

We are always on the lookout for new assessment agencies to partner with us in delivering the Total Mobility scheme. We value our agencies for their deep reach in the community and their understanding of the clients they serve.

The primary role of the assessment agency is to evaluate the eligibility of potential Total Mobility clients. Assessments are typically done either at the agency’s office, or the client’s home. Depending on the nature of their impairment(s), the potential client may need assistance from a caregiver.

The goal of assessment is to guide and assist the potential client through the application, and to then submit the application on their behalf. As well as assessing the client’s eligibility, the assessor should be ensuring that Total Mobility is the best option for the client, as other sources of funding are available for travel in some circumstances.

Once a client is approved for Total Mobility, the assessing agency has an ongoing role as an intermediary between the client and the council. Clients often contact agencies about Total Mobility issues such as lost cards or complaints, and the council works with the agency to keep its client database up to date and renew cards when they reach expiry date.

A wide variety of organisations can act as assessing agencies. Typically, agencies are social support organisations, which can either have a narrow focus (specific impairments, membership organisations) or a broad focus (available to anyone). In other parts of New Zealand, care homes and GP surgeries sometimes act as assessing agencies; Otago does not currently have any agencies along these lines, although several agencies have connections to care homes.

Any agencies interested in joining Total Mobility should get in contact with the Total Mobility Coordinator, either by emailing, or calling Customer Service 0800 474 082

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