Environment Canterbury first on board to deliver New Zealand’s new way to pay on the bus

Canterbury has been announced as the first region to roll out a new way of paying for public transport anywhere in New Zealand – making it easier for locals and tourists alike to hop on and off buses and ferries wherever they are in the country.

A pilot will roll-out in Canterbury in mid-2024 and it is expected customers will be able to use the single payment method on all public transport, across New Zealand, by 2026.

The announcement was made this morning at a Ministerial event in Auckland to mark the signing of the contract between Waka Kotahi and Cubic, the supplier of the ticketing solution.

Environment Canterbury Chief Executive Dr Stefanie Rixecker said the announcement is a great result after many years of hard work during the procurement phase.

Improving the customer experience

“After a large-scale, complex procurement process with many stakeholders, we are very excited to now be in the planning phase of the project and to be one step closer to delivering a world-class ticketing system.

“Improving the customer experience is an important part of attracting more people to use public transport and contributes to our wider goal of reducing transport emissions and congestion on our roads,” she said.

The new solution will make travelling on buses and ferries easier for customers who will be able to simply wave their digital wallet, wearables, or bank-issued debit and credit cards against the reader when boarding and alighting services.

The single national payment solution will make it easier for people to access public transport anywhere in the country through a wider retail network. It will enable more people to use public transport more often and provide better flexibility and insight for all Councils to continue to deliver a more accessible, innovative, safe, and responsive public transport system for users.

“Not only will it make public transport more accessible and welcoming for our community, it will also mean visitors from anywhere in New Zealand will be able to use Canterbury’s public transport services with their existing bank cards or devices, without the need to purchase a transit card or use cash.”

Environment Canterbury has signed a participation agreement with Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and a Regional Consortium of ten smaller councils, to deliver the solution.

“We’re pleased to be trusted with leading the transition to the national ticketing solution as part of phase one of the project, and we will continue to work closely with regional councils from around Aotearoa as we enter the planning stage,” said Rixecker.

Metro customers can continue to use their Metrocards as normal on public transport services until the new solution is implemented.

More information on the project can be found on the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency website.