Electronic bus card buzzed out to rest of region

The regional integrated ticketing system which uses an electronic card to tag on and off buses is being rolled out to the rest of the Horizons Region on 20 July.

Horizons Regional Council transport manager Rhona Hewitt says Whanganui has been using the Bee Card since December and now it’s time for the rest of the region to get benefits too by getting on-board.

“The Bee Card will be used to pay for bus fares from 20 July, however we are encouraging users to get themselves organised now while fares are still free so they are all ready to go,” says Ms Hewitt.

“The Bee Card replaces the Horizons GoCard and save users money as the rate is cheaper than cash fares. Cards are available on the bus, at beecard.co.nz or via freephone 0508 800 800 and can be topped up at all those places.

“We’re also asking people to register their cards online so it keeps their card balance secure and helps with COVID-19 tracing.”

Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell is pleased the Bee Card is soon going to be available for all bus users in the region.

“The Bee Card’s tag on tag off functionality provides us with rich data such as passenger use, and hot spots along the routes and fare collection, which will be highly beneficial in informing our future network planning,” explains Cr Keedwell.

“We’ve started collecting this data from Whanganui already and it will be fantastic to collect it for the rest of the region as well to help inform our future network planning. The Whanganui rollout provided the opportunity to iron out a few details and the feedback regarding how easy the card is to use has been positive.”

Cr Keedwell says the Bee Card has a number of modern features that will make using it beneficial to individuals and families.

“When passengers register their cards at beecard.co.nz they can check their card balance online, protect their balance if their card gets lost or stolen and, if need be, manage multiple cards. This is really handy for families as they can load concessions based on the user, for example children, and also set up an Auto Top Up to ensure they always have sufficient funds to travel.”

Ms Hewitt says while fares resume from 20 July, they will be simplified to help users adjust to the new system and paying again post COVID-19.

“All users in the region will pay a simplified fare to ride and Council will reassess when normal fares will resume at a later date. The simplified fares means concessions are not needed for this period.

“SuperGold card users and university students are asked to continue to use their IDs as payment for their rides until normal fares resume, at which point they will also use the Bee Card. However, in the meantime they are welcome to get a card and register it online so they are ready to use it later in the year.”

For more information about the Bee Card, please see beecard.co.nz.