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Hawke’s Bay Bee Card buzzing its way into town

Bee Card

A new ticketing system is being rolled out in Hawke’s Bay in August making it easier to travel, at the same time as flat fares make it cheaper to travel by bus.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor and Regional Transport Committee Chair Martin Williams is welcoming the Bee Card, coming to Napier and Hastings on 24 August, as an important step towards making public transport a more accessible and attractive travel option.

“The Bee Card will make travel easier for bus users and help us with network planning. We’re hoping more people will leave their car at home and hop on the bus with our flat fare trial and the new card,” says Mr Williams.

“The flat fare trial was dependant on the government’s Transport Agency funding some of the cost, and they’ve confirmed they will be, which is great news.”

“The Bee Card will give the Regional Council important data – not currently available – on passenger use, hot spots along the routes, and fare collection, which will help to plan for, improve and expand the public transport services available for the region,” explains Mr Williams.

Regional Council Transport Manager Anne Redgrave is asking bus users to ‘bee’ ready and get their card ahead of 24 August.

“We’re encouraging passengers to get their new Bee Card in time for the switch, online at BeeCard.co.nz, at the Regional Council’s Dalton St office in Napier, Hastings Library, or on board the bus.”

“We encourage all passengers to register their cards once they’ve got them online at BeeCard.co.nz. They’ll be able to check card balances and top up the card online, manage multiple cards - handy for families - and set auto top-ups. And if the card is lost they can put a stop on it and transfer the balance to a new card.”

“To transfer the card balance from your current goBay card to your new Bee Card, you can pick up a form from your bus driver, at the Regional Council, or Hastings Library.”

A flat fare trial is coming in at the same time as the new cards, to make travel cheaper.

“Our flat fare trial would see one-zone trips cost $1, and two-zone fares cost $2 when using a Bee Card. Without a Bee Card the one-zone cost is $2 and two-zone is $3.

SuperGold Card users will continue to travel for free between 9am to 3pm on weekdays, and on weekends and public holidays.

From 24 August, goBay cards will no longer work. Bee Cards will be free until November.

Hawke’s Bay is one of nine New Zealand regions moving to the Bee Card. A consortium of regional councils has been formed to make the project more cost-effective, technologically robust and to share marketing resources.

“Many of the regions were facing out of date, and increasingly obsolete technology with their bus ticketing systems, while others hadn’t previously used card technology,” explains Ms Redgrave.

“By all joining together we were able to pool costs and benefits, to get the best deal for Napier and Hastings ratepayers.”

Find out more at goBay.co.nz.

27 July 2020

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