Tickets and fares

All fares and passes have their own terms and conditions, and Conditions of Carriage apply for all Metlink services. All Metlink fares will be half price from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. Metlink is working with Waka Kotahi to introduce and implement the National Ticketing Solution.(external link)

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Snapper is a stored value card for Metlink buses and trains.  A variety of passes are available when using Snapper. Snapper currently isn't accepted on the Wellington Harbour Ferry or Metlink On DemandThe Wellington Cable Car(external link) is not a Metlink service,  but it accepts Snapper as fare payment when travelling via Lambton Quay. 

Get started using Snapper

Snapper fares

Snapper 30-Day passes

Snapper 30-Day passes can start any day and are valid for 30 days following the first use. Buy 30-day passes through the Snapper app, or at a Snapper retailer. Passes can't be purchased using existing Snapper credit. To buy a child pass your Snapper card must have a valid child concession.

If you forget to tag off, you may be charged a default fare.

Default fares for Snapper

If you forget to tag off, a default fare may be charged to your account. If you don't have enough regular Snapper credit to cover the default fare, your pass will stop working because you would have a negative balance on your card.

On buses, the default fare is calculated as if you had travelled to the end of that route.

On trains, the default fare is a set amount, listed in the fares tables. They are set amounts because Snapper card readers are on platforms, so the system does not know which service you've taken or the direction you were travelling. 


Cash fares cost at least 25% more than the equivalent Snapper fares. If using multiple services, a separate cash fare applies for each service. Free transfers do not apply to cash fares. When purchasing a cash ticket onboard, correct change is appreciated. 

Cash fares on buses aren't eligible for concessions or discounts, except for child fares. Single Child fares and single Accessible concession fares can be purchased on board trains and ferries. Cash tickets for ferry can be purchased on board or at Queens Wharf.

Express bus services 30x(external link), 31x(external link), 32x(external link) are Snapper-only, and do not accept cash. This ensures the fastest possible travel time for commuters. 

After Midnight bus services [PDF, 108 KB] use the same fares and passes as regular Metlink buses.

Regular Metlink buses and trains don't have EFTPOS on board, and there are no ticket vending machines on train platforms. Only Wellington Station has an ATM in the main concourse.

Single trip fares

Fares are calculated based on the number of zones you travel through (including the zone where you start).

Cash Metlink Explorer day pass

A Metlink Explorer day pass gives you and a child aged 5-15 unlimited travel for one calendar day on Metlink buses and trains weekdays after 9am, all day weekends and public holidays, and on all after midnight services. Child, Accessible, and Tertiary concessions do not apply to the Explorer day pass.

Day passes can be purchased on board buses or trains with cash. Keep your day pass in a safe place, as it won't be replaced or refunded if you lose it.

Kāpiti Combo bus & rail return ticket

Kāpiti Combo tickets are a set fare for same-day return travel using buses and trains between Waikanae and Paraparaumu or between Otaki and Paraparaumu. Kāpiti Combo tickets can be purchased with cash on-board the relevant bus routes, but not on the train. 

There are no one-way combo tickets. Child, Accessible, and Tertiary concessions do not apply to Kāpiti Combo tickets.

We're saying goodbye to paper train tickets

You can still buy single cash tickets on board or use Snapper on Rail.

Paper 10-trip tickets were discontinued 31 December 2022. Remaining trips on paper 10-trip tickets are currently still accepted on board, but paper 10-trip tickets are no longer sold.

Event tickets were discontinued 31 December 2022. 

Paper monthly passes were discontinued 30 November 2022. 

Wairarapa Line afternoon peak surcharges and minimum fares

Using Snapper on the Wairarapa Line (starting 27 November) does not have surcharges or minimum fares, because the Snapper readers are on the platforms and the system does not identify which line you have ridden.

If you travel on a Wairarapa Line using cash or a 10-trip paper ticket in the afternoon peak from Wellington Station and only travel as far as Petone, Waterloo or Upper Hutt Station, these charges apply:

  • Using a 10-Trip ticket for zone 7: $0.50 surcharge
  • Using a 10-Trip ticket for zones 4-6: $2.50 surcharge
  • Using cash: $5.00 minimum fare (8 zones)

Special services

The Airport Express, Metlink OnDemand, and Wellington Harbour Ferry have special set fares and various payment options.

Airport Express

The Airport Express (AX)(external link) service travels between the Wellington Airport and Wellington Railway Station.

Travelling on the Airport Express buses costs a fixed fare that is more economical than rideshare services, taxis and shuttles.

Wellington Harbour Ferry

Wellington Harbour Ferries provide services to Queens Wharf, Days Bay and Matiu/Somes Island. There are no longer services to Petone due to earthquake damage impacting the pier. Seatoun Wharf is currently closed for maintenance.


Concessions and discounts apply on some payment types and times of the day, but generally not on cash fares. Multiple concessions and/or discounts can't be combined for the same journey. 


Accessible concession

Tertiary Concession

Eligible full-time tertiary students receive a 25% discount on peak adult Snapper fares. 

Child Concession

Also referred to as the School concession.


SuperGold cardholders ride free weekdays 9am to 3pm, weekdays after 6:30pm, and all day on weekends and public holidays.

Total Mobility

The Total Mobility scheme provides discounted door-to-door taxi transport for disabled people who cannot independently use regular public transport services, all or some of the time. In the Wellington region, Total Mobility cards have Snapper cards built in for paying bus and train fares and already have the Accessibility concession applied.

Community Connect Concession

Discounted fares with Snapper for Community Services Card (CSC) holders. This concession will be launched 1 April 2023, following the Government Half Price Fares initiative.


A journey may include several trips on different vehicles. Some combinations of trips are eligible for free transfers, and some are not. 

"Journey-based fare calculation’ is a way of calculating fares for passengers transferring between several trips on a journey and using a stored value card, like Snapper. Essentially, passengers would pay the same fare as what they would have paid if it was a single trip on the same vehicle. This is also known as 'free transfers'.