15 April 2024

New Bee card to replace BUSIT card from 6 July

A new bus ticketing system, Bee Card is set to launch on Monday, 6 July and will replace the existing BUSIT card throughout the region. This new prepay card is being projected as ‘easier and smarter’ that will “pave the way for better city planning and transport options in the future.”

Passengers will be required to tag on and tag off the bus using the card readers by the door. When you tag on and off, the system automatically calculates the lowest fare based on your travel. If you don’t tag off, the system will charge a higher default fare.

Bee Card
Tag on & tag off your new Bee card from 6 July (Photo: courtesy/Beecard)

Bee card will lower bus fares temporarily while it is being rolled out. These special introductory prices mean a Hamilton bus fare will be $1.70 for all Bee Card users, instead of the previous $2.40 adult BUSIT card fare. Without a card, the cash fare will be $3.

As a result of the lower prices, there won’t be separate child, University of Waikato, Wintec or 60+ discounted fares. Reinstatement of normal fares and concession types, including the youth concession, will be reviewed over the coming months.

The CBD Shuttle is also being replaced with a new $1 central city fare zone, exclusive for Bee Card holders, from the motels on Ulster St through to the hospital.

SuperGold Card holders and accessibility concession holders will continue to receive free travel as per current rules, but will need to load their free bus travel concession on to a Bee Card.

Bus travel will remain free until the new system launches, according to the Busit website.

Over the next few weeks, existing BUSIT card holders will be able to swap their BUSIT cards and transfer balances to their new Bee Cards. You can transfer any credit over $1 left on your BUSIT card to your registered Bee Card for the first 12 months. 

The new ticketing system is also being rolled out over eight other regions across New Zealand. This means you’ll be able to use your Bee Card, pretty much everywhere that has a bus network apart from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, who have different cards.

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