Community Connect FAQs

Half price fares end on 30 June 2023. If you have a Community Services Card, you can continue to pay half-price fares from 1 July by applying for the Community Connect concession to be loaded to your Bee Card.

Is Taranaki Regional Council taking part in the reduction of fares for Community Services Card holders announced by the government? When does this start?

Yes we will be taking part in the Community Connect concession fare scheme - commencing Saturday 1 July 2023.

 What does this Community Connect concession mean?

Community Services Card holders will get a 50% discount off fares on Taranaki Regional Council operated bus services from 1 July 2023.

 Is this for all Taranaki bus services?

This is for all Taranaki Regional Council operated bus services – including the Connector, Your Connector, Citylink Urban and School services, and all Southlink Services - Ōpunake to New Plymouth, Ōpunake to Hāwera and Waverley to Hāwera.

 What does the new fare structure look like for those that have a Community Connect Concession?

Zones travelled Bee Card Cash Community Connect Concession
1 $2 $3 $1
2 $3 $4 $1.50
3 $4 $5 $2
4 $5 $6 $2.50

For example, if you travelled from Hāwera to Stratford this would cost $1.50 paying by Bee Card. If travelling from Hāwera to New Plymouth, this would cost $2.50 by Bee Card. The Community Connect concession is only available if applied to a Bee Card and is not available when paying with cash.

Who is eligible?

  • You can apply for the discount if you have a current Community Services Card issued by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
  • We can only send out one free Community Connect Bee Card for each MSD client number. You can get your free Bee Card by ordering through your online account, a minimum top up of $5 applies. These free Bee Cards are not available through our retailers.
  • Don't have a Community Services Card? Find out how to apply on the Work and Income website(external link).

How do I get this concession?

Applications for the Community Connect concession are now open. If you are a Community Services Card holder, you can pre-order now, and your concession will apply from 1 July 2023.

  • Your Bee Card must be registered to a Bee Card account to apply the Community Connect concession.
  • If you are a Bee Card holder but do not have an online account, please create one.(external link)
  • If your account is managed through the Taranaki Regional Council please call 0800 BEE TRC (0800 233 872) to have your concession applied, or complete the Community Connect concession form, available at one of our retailers.
  • If you are not a Bee Card holder, please visit the website(external link), create an account and order a Bee Card.
  • If you are a Bee Card holder with an online account, log in to your account(external link) and follow the below steps:
  1. On the card you are wanting to add the concession to, please click 'Manage Card'
  2. Please go to the Concessions section and click 'Add Community Connect'
  3. You’ll need your client number and date of birth in order to submit the form to the Ministry of Social Development.

Does this only apply to Bee Card?

Yes, with the exception of Southlink service users. Bee Card users with the Community Connect concession loaded to their Bee Card will pay half price fares. The fares will continue to be calculated by the number of zones travelled.

For example, if you are travelling within one zone you will pay $1. If your travel takes you across multiple zones you will pay an additional 50c per zone crossed.  Bee card users MUST tag on and off to ensure the correct fare is charged. Failing to tag correctly will result in the higher non-refundable cash fare being charged.

Southlink services are cash only. Passengers using these services will need to show their valid Community Services Card in order to receive the discounted fare.

Does this apply to cash fares?

No, if you are paying for your bus fare with cash you will not receive the Community Connect concession as this has to be applied to a Bee Card. Fares will continue to be calculated by the number of zones travelled.

Southlink services are an exception as these services are cash only. Passengers using these services will need to show their valid Community Services Card in order to receive the discounted fare.

Does this apply to Total Mobility?

From Saturday 1 July 2023, Total Mobility customers are entitled to a permanent 75% discount on their one-way subsided taxi fare. Taranaki has a $40 cap per trip, so the maximum contribution the Council provides per one way trip is currently $30. 

Total taxi fare Customer pays TRC pays
$20 $5 $15
$30 $7.50 $22.50
$40 $10 $30 (max. subsidy reached)
$50 $20 $30 (max. subsidy reached)
$60 $30 $30 (max. subsidy reached)
$70 $40 $30 (max. subsidy reached)

Does this apply to SuperGold Card holders?

Bee Card users who have a SuperGold Card Concession applied will continue to receive free off peak travel from 9am to 3pm weekdays and all day Saturday.  If travel is outside of these times, SuperGold Card users will incur the full adult Bee Card fare. Failing to tag on and off correctly throughout the day will result in a higher non-refundable cash fare being charged, and may cause your Bee Card to fail on your next bus trip.

SuperGold Card holders can choose to have either the SuperGold Card concession OR the Community Connect concession.  If you prefer to travel during PEAK times you can opt to have the Community Connect concession applied instead.  All bus trips would then be charged at the discounted fare, you would not receive the free off-peak travel. This concession change cannot be done online, please call the team on 0800 233 872 to change your concession type.

Does this apply to WITT students?

WITT students already travel free when they show their current student ID as part of a co-funding arrangement with WITT – so there will be no change to their travel.

What happens if I am overcharged?

If you believe your Bee Card has been overcharged please check your TAG ON and TAG OFF transactions in your online Bee Card account.  Bee Cards that are not tagged off correctly will incur a non-refundable default cash fare. If you notice other unusual charges on your account please email the Transport team at transport@trc.govt.nz or phone the Bee team on 0800 BEE TRC (0800 233 872).

When does the Community Connect concession finish?

This is an ongoing initiative.

How are the reduction in fares via the Community Connect concession being funded?

As communicated in the Government’s announcement on 19 May 2022, regional transport authorities like Taranaki Regional Council will be reimbursed by central government to compensate for any loss of fare revenue. For any further information on funding for this initiative, please contact the Ministry of Transport.

Why could we just not continue with half price fares for everyone?

From 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2023 fare discounts were financially supported by the Government as a result of rising fuel costs. From 1 July 2023 - 31 April 2024 those discounts were also applied to youths under 21 and children under 12.Should future funding be available, our fares will be reviewed. Taranaki Regional Council would require continued financial support from the Government in order to sustain the half price fare structure, for youth and children, permanently.