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Nelson City Council launched Bee Card at the beginning of August, a new cashless alternative to pay for the bus.
You can still pay with cash, but in order to get a concessionary fare you need to register a Bee Card and add your SuperGold Card. You no longer need to show your SuperGold Card (but may be asked to produce it on request), as simply tapping your new Bee Card will let you travel free on off peak buses or for reduced rates at peak times.
Our Nelson spoke to Manager Technology and Customer Experience Jane McLeod, who leads the Bee Card team, and asked for her top tips on making the most of the new system.
Our Nelson: What sort of feedback have you had about Bee Card?
Jane: the response has been fantastic, we have given out more than 9000 cards and it has been great to see so many people use them in the first month.
ON: Any teething problems?
Jane: Remember to tag off! If you forget we don’t know how far you travelled, so you pay a higher default fare. We have signs up to remind people, but hopefully it should be second nature soon!
When you tag on with the card, just hold it over the scanner like you would for PayWave, swiping it doesn’t work.
ON: Any advice for people who aren’t sure about the new system?
Jane: Staff at Nelson and Tasman Council Customer Service Centres, the bus depot and our libraries are ready to help with queries. You can add the SuperGold Card yourself at BeeCard.co.nz, but we can also help you do this in person. The same applies for loading money – you can even ask a driver to add money to your card.
This means there’s no longer any need to get cash out for the bus, or buy a new NBus card when it runs out.
ON: what happens if you forget your Bee Card –will people be left on the side of the road?
Jane: Increasing public transport use in Nelson is one of Council’s priorities and one of the aims of the Bee Card system. The last thing we want to see is passengers left behind. If you haven’t brought your Bee Card, or picked one up yet, drivers will be lenient and can give advice about the new system.