Fare changes help keep buses affordable

Invercargill City Council is adopting fare changes to help keep public transport affordable in the city.

The Government-led Community Connect programme provides a 50 per cent concession on public transport services for Community Services Cardholders when using a Bee Card.

Council Group Manager Infrastructure Erin Moogan said the new fares would apply to all Council BusSmart services from July 1.

“These fares will continue to make it easier for people on low incomes to use public transport by heavily reducing the cost of bus travel,” she said.

Budget 2023 confirmed support for Public Transport Authorities, such as BusSmart, in implementing a nationwide rollout of new fare options to encourage the use of public transport.

This includes the 50 per cent concession for Community Services cardholders and Youth Plus travellers between 13 and 24 and free travel for children up to 12 years.

Council BusSmart service users who add their community service number or date of birth when accessing their Bee card account online would be able to access these concessions, she said.

Bee Card is the electronic smart card used for a variety of travel options across 10 regions in Aotearoa New Zealand and is used by Invercargill City Council BusSmart services.

“Just like our SuperGold passengers, who get free off-peak travel, our Community Connect, Child, Youth and Youth Plus passengers present their Bee Card at the on-board equipment and the system will access the concession.”

People could visit the Bee Card website at Beecard or see one of the staff at Te Hīnaki Civic Building at 101 Esk St, Invercargill to help them get started.

People were able to continue to pay cash for their bus rides, which cost $3 per trip, Moogan said.