New flat fare system for Taranaki buses

Riding a public bus in Taranaki is about to get a whole lot simpler, with the introduction of a new fare system.

Riding a public bus in Taranaki is about to get a whole lot simpler, with the introduction of a new fare system.

From Monday 31 January, the number of bus fare zones in Taranaki will reduce from 25 to just four. There will be a flat fare for all passengers within each zone, with an additional $1 for each boundary crossed. 

For example, a trip anywhere within Zone 1 will cost Bee Card users $2. Zone 1 covers New Plymouth city and extends out to Waitara, Oākura and Egmont Village. 

The changes affect Citylink school and urban services as well as the regional Connector and Southlink services.

Taranaki Regional Councillor and Regional Transport Committee chairman Matthew McDonald says the new fare zones provide greater clarity to bus users.

He says the Council is working hard to make public transport more user and environmentally-friendly.

“Our community has told us they want more routes and buses that run more frequently. Getting our fare zones right is an important first step towards that.”

New route extensions will be announced over the coming months.

The new fare zones will mean small fare decreases for some users, including adults on urban services and anyone travelling from Waitara, Oākura or Bell Block into New Plymouth.

South Taranaki travellers are also set to benefit, with a Connector fare from Hāwera to New Plymouth dropping from $9.60 to $5 with a Bee Card.

There will be small increases for other users. As part of the move to a flat fare, child fares on the Citylink services will be discontinued, adding between 15 and 40c per ride.

Concession fares for Community Services Card, Total Mobility Card and Access Card holders will also end, adding 20c a ride. Super Gold entitlements are unchanged.

Council Transport Engagement Manager Sarah Hiestand says this is the first time any bus fares have increased since 2008.

 “The new system overall is expected to result in a small increase in revenue, which will be put straight back into delivering more and better bus services for the region.

“It’s always a balance between fares and public funding when it comes to buses and we believe we’ve got it right.”

About Bee Cards

The Bee Card is a bus payment card which allows you to 'tag on and tag off' the bus. It provides you with cheaper fares and is able to be used across nine regions around New Zealand, including Taranaki.

The Bee Card was introduced in Taranaki in 2020 and is used by 90% of passengers.  Cash fares are still accepted on the buses.

To order a Bee Card go to link) or pick one up in person. For a list of retailers go to link)