FREE Buses For All!

Wednesday 01 July 2020

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 Lockdown, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been running fare-free buses. 


Before, this had only been offered to school students, which has been well-received. Yet, it seems that few of the public know about the council's new offerings to all its riders. Any passenger can ride the bus for free, until Monday 27th July 2020.


Riding the bus for free is as simple as hopping on the bus and hopping off when you're at your destination!  There's no tagging on or tagging off with your card.


“We are currently transitioning our ticketing system to the RITS Bee Card system and equipment is being removed from buses. Drivers are still being trained on the new system and the data we have is infrequent.” said Chariman Andrew von Dadelszen from the Public Transport Committee, “Feedback from drivers has been overall very positive.”

As mentioned in the council's response, Bay Bus has announced that it will replace its Smartride and Cityride card. The new card, called Bee Card, will make traveling even more accessible and easy to do.


Travelers will be able to top-up online, protect their balance, manage their accounts, and more!




It's hoped that the next few weeks of free buses will entice the public to consider taking buses first, rather than their car, when traveling to places.


Public transport has already been a great option for getting around and seeing everything the city of Tauranga has to give. While it is also more environmentally friendly than personal car travel, it is also helps cut down on traffic in some of the busier areas of Tauranga.


Events in the Bay are ramping up again with at least 10 events being announced every day. So, catching a bus seems like a great reason to go explore, support local, and get amongst the culture. 


The new dates for the Bee Card introduction are as follows...

  • 20 July 2020 in Eastern Bay (including Kawerau, Ōpōtiki, and Whakatāne), Rotorua, Ōmokoroa and Katikati
  • 27 July 2020 in Tauranga