Media release

ORC votes to adopt flat bus fares in Dunedin

Wednesday 27 May 2020

The in-principle decision, subject to consultation, will replace zones with a single flat fare of $2 for adults and $1.50 for children between 5 and 18 years old using the upcoming Bee Card, and $3 with cash.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) voted today in favour of an option to implement as a trial in the short term, simplified, flat fares in the Dunedin Orbus network in the move from the current Covid-19 fare-free services to the new Bee Card ticketing system.

The proposal also includes reducing the $10 airport cash fare in Queenstown to $4, and making travel with a SuperGold card free at all times on both networks.

ORC Chair Marian Hobbs said she was pleased with the decision.

“I am delighted about this move on our fares and with the Bee Card because this is one step towards lowering climate change emissions. If we make passenger transport easier and more affordable, my hope and prayer to the Dunedin citizens is that we make use of this great service.”

ORC Manager Transport Garry Maloney said the changes would make bus use more attractive in Dunedin.

“We know that for many people in Dunedin, a flat $2 fare will make travel by bus more affordable and simpler to use than it has been in the past.

“The Orbus Dunedin network has made a raft of improvements in recent years, including more regular bus timetables and the opening of the hub, but this may be the best reason yet to take the bus.”

The flat fare structure is linked to the upcoming Bee Card, the tag on tag off bus card which is part of the Regional Integrated Ticketing System (RITS) being implemented across nine regions in New Zealand this year.

“The Bee Card, along with this interim proposal, also makes bus travel much easier: you’ll be able to simply tag on when you get on to the bus, and tag off at your destination, without any guesswork about the cost,” Mr Maloney continued.

The online function will not only make it easy to top up your card, but also reduce face to face interactions on the bus.

The Council also approved consulting the public on the fare proposal. Changing the bus service fare structure requires an amendment to ORC’s Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP), and triggers a need for public consultation.