Media release

Media release: ORC aboard on new national ticketing system

Friday 21 October 2022

The Otago Regional Council, along with all the country’s other Public Transport Authorities, has signed up for the Government’s National Ticketing Solution (NTS), which was officially launched at Auckland’s Britomart train station this morning.

Minister of Transport, Michael Wood, Chief Executive of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Nicole Rosie, plus representatives from supplier Cubic and many of the Chief Executives from the Public Transport Authorities attended the NTS system launch.

Including ORC, there are 10 councils in the Regional Consortium, plus Environment Canterbury, Greater Wellington, and Auckland Transport, who have signed up to the Participation Agreement.

Minister Wood outlined how the NTS will deliver a nationally consistent single payment system, providing a range of easy-to-use payment methods across all public transport in New Zealand. 

“Customers will be able to choose what payment method works best for them. They will be able to pay for public transport using contactless debit or credit cards, as well as digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay, while still offering the option of using a pre-paid transit card.”

The new technology will allow daily, weekly and monthly fare caps to be applied to travel automatically, meaning customers will be charged the best possible fare at the end of each day, Mr Wood says.

ORC’s GM Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer, Nick Donnelly says there will be no immediate change for passengers, bus contractors, ORC, or the other councils in the Regional Consortium.

“We’ll continue with the Bee Card until our turn to implement NTS comes along. Otago is last in the queue, so it’s not scheduled for another 2-3 years,” Mr Donnelly says. 

The NTS will cover fares for buses, trains and ferries across the country. 

Once NTS is implemented, passengers will be able to pay for public transport using contactless debit or credit cards, as well as digital payment methods on mobile devices and wearables.

They will also still have the option of using a pre-paid transit card. 

The first NTS implementation is expected in Canterbury in mid-2024, while all the other Public Transport Authorities will transfer over to the NTS before 2026.

ORC signed the NTS Participation Agreement, following a public-excluded meeting of the Council on 24 August.