Green light for $2 flat bus fare

Councillors voted unanimously to implement the flat fares on an interim basis on the Orbus...
Councillors voted unanimously to implement the flat fares on an interim basis on the Orbus network until the end of the year. Photo: ODT files
The Otago Regional Council has approved the $2 flat fare trial for Dunedin buses.


There were some changes made to its original proposal following the council receiving 1431 written submissions and 20 submitters presenting at hearings last month.

During a full council meeting today, a hearings panel appointed by the council asked councillors to agree to lower child fares when using a Bee Card to $1.20 from the proposed $1.50.

Councillors voted unanimously to implement the flat fares on an interim basis on the Orbus network until the end of the year.

The resuming of fare collection would also coincide with the new Bee Card ticketing system going live in Dunedin on September 1. Bus fares have been free since April.

It meant adult fares using a Bee Card would be $2, child fares using a Bee Card would be $1.20, a cash fare (without a Bee Card) would be $3, and SuperGold Card holders in Dunedin and Queenstown would travel for free at all times.

A charge of $3 would be applied where a passenger forgot to tag off with their Bee Card.

The Bee tag on-tag off system starts in September. Photo: ODT files
The Bee tag on-tag off system starts in September. Photo: ODT files
Otago Regional Transport Committee chairwoman Cr Alexa Forbes said the proposal had been revised in response to community feedback.

“Our community overwhelmingly supported the proposal, but we also heard concerns about the cost to passengers who would normally travel one zone. That’s why we have agreed with the hearing panel recommendation to reduce child fares from the proposed $1.50 to $1.20.”

The previous one zone fare with a GoCard was $1.92 for adults, $1.15 for children, while across two zones it was $2.53 per adult and $1.52 per child. Super Gold Card holders travelled free between 9am up to 3pm.

Approximately 70% of passengers travel two zones or more, and will save money under the new fare structure.

“It’s a great way to launch the Bee Card, and supports our commitment to making public transport more convenient and accessible in the city,” Cr Forbes said.

Queenstown introduced the flat fare system two years ago.

The Bee Card, a new tag-on tag-off smartcard, is available on buses and at ORC offices in Dunedin.

Registering the card online is not required, but will allow topping up online.

Councillors agreed to the new fare structure on an interim basis, and would consider fare structures again later this year. 

 

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