Transition to cashless payment for buses and ferries

Cash is set to be removed as a payment option on the Greater Christchurch Metro Network in 2024.

This week, Councillors approved the recommendation as part of the implementation of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) in the second half of 2024.

As part of a network safety project and with the increase of on-bus safety incidents, Metro operators have advocated removing cash from buses and ferries from a staff safety and overall welfare perspective.

"Over the last 18 months, staff have worked closely with operators and other partners to improve network safety for both staff and customers. This has been in response to an increase in incidents and complaints around safety," says Thomas McNaughton, Manager - Customer Experience and Marketing Public Transport.

Currently, around 12 per cent of passenger trips are paid for by cash. There are a variety of reasons that customers make this decision, the majority of which will be addressed by the new payment options the National Ticketing Solution will provide, such as debit/credit card, NTS pre-paid card, or smart devices.

Cash will still be able to be used to top-up pre-paid cards at service centres. Card purchases and top-ups will also be available through an extended network of retailer outlets. Comprehensive customer support and education on the alternative options for payment will be provided in the lead-up to the transition to the NTS.

Continued cash acceptance during the transition to NTS

There is no immediate change for customers. Cash will continue being accepted until the implementation of the NTS.

It should be noted that the acceptance of cash payments under NTS is a decision made at a regional level so other regions will consider their plans separately.

"We’re confident that with comprehensive customer support as part of the implementation of the NTS, a successful transition from cash can be achieved," says Thomas.