If you use the bus regularly, the most cost-effective option for travelling on Metlink buses is on your Snapper card, and travelling off-peak can save you another 25%.
The terms and conditions of your ticket are included in the Conditions of Travel.
Snapper - tag on tag off
If you are a regular Metlink bus customer using a Snapper card is likely to be the most cost-effective option for getting around the Wellington region by bus.
Snapper is a stored value card. All Metlink buses now use Snapper, from Masterton to the Kapiti Coast and Wellington city. Remember to swipe your card on the reader when you get on the bus and when you hop off.
Off-peak, transfers at no extra cost, Tertiary concessions, and Accessible concessions are only available with your Snapper card, not cash.
You can buy a Snapper card from Snapper retailers, service centres or online for $10.00 RRP. Find out more about Snapper.
Transfer to other Metlink buses with your Snapper card
You also get a transfer at no extra cost to your next bus (within 30 minutes of tagging off) - but only on your Snapper, card not with cash.
You can catch up to five buses in one journey - but only if they are all Metlink services. Your Snapper will calculate your fare on the number of zones you have travelled as if it was on one bus. You can check the cost of your trip by using the Journey Planner.
Transfers at no extra cost don't apply for non-Metlink services such as Airport Flyer (Route 91) and commuter services (80, 90, 91, 92, 93, 970, 971, 972, 973) which are run by other bus operators.
Our fares for bus trips are journey-based. This means that the total cost of your journey will be based on the total number of zones you travel on your Snapper card, regardless of you transferring to other Metlink buses to get to your destination. You will pay the same fare as if you had only used one bus - there is no extra cost to you if you have to transfer to another Metlink bus.
The following conditions apply to your transfer:
- You’ll need to tag on and tag off at the start and end of each trip of the journey
- You need to tag on to the last trip in your journey within four hours of your first tag on.
- You’ll need to tag on to the next bus within 30 minutes of tagging off from the previous bus
- You’ll need to be transferring between Metlink buses only (excluding after midnight buses)
- You’ll need to pay using you Snapper card - journey-based fares are not available when paying cash
- If you tag on to a non Metlink service (e.g. 91) it will break your journey
- You can transfer onto any other Metlink route (but adults can’t catch school buses) or onto a Metlink bus on the same route.
Things that will "break" your journey and you will be charged for a transfer:
- Using your 30-day bus pass which is loaded onto your Snapper card
- You won't be able to transfer (or tag on at all) if you've ended up with a negative balance on your card after tagging off from your last trip - BUT if you top up your card between connecting trips you'll still be able to benefit from journey-based fares
- There is a four transfer maximum for each single journey meaning that you can connect five bus trips. If you get on a sixth bus it will be counted as a new journey
- If you tag on to the last bus in excess of four hours from your first tag on it will be counted as a new journey
Other things you should be aware of:
- The fare for your journey is based on the concession loaded on your Snapper card - Adult, Child, Tertiary, Accessible
- If you are an "Adult" tag on time determines whether you are charged Peak or Off-Peak fares. An Off-Peak Snapper fare is charged for a journey that begins in off-peak hours, even if one or more tag ons are during peak hours. If your first tag on is during peak hours you will be charged Peak fares for the entire journey, even if some of the tag ons are during off peak hours.
- Journey-based fares are available when tagging on multiple passengers using a single Snapper card. You’ll need to make sure that the same combination of passengers (e.g. 1 adult and 2 children) tag on to each trip to obtain a journey-based fare for all passengers. You will break your journey if a different combination of passengers tags on to the next trip.
You can use cash on Metlink buses but your trip will cost more than using Snapper. Please have the correct fare, as our drivers don't carry a lot of change. Child cash fares are 50% of Adult cash fares.
Remember there are no transfers or off-peak fares for cash. You can only get Tertiary or Accessible Concession if you use your Snapper card.
Off Peak travel
If your plans are flexible you can travel off-peak with a 25% discount by using your Snapper card - there is no off-peak discount on cash. Off-peak fares apply all weekend as well - skip the parking hassles and catch the bus to town.
• 9:00am - 3:00pm and after 6:30pm weekdays
• All day weekends and public holidays
If you start your trip during off-peak hours, your whole journey is charged at off-peak rates, including Metlink services you transfer to. So if you start your journey before 3:00pm and transfer or finish your journey after 3:00pm you still only pay off-peak fares. If you are travelling on a SuperGold card you get one free transfer to another Metlink bus service between 3:00pm and 3:30pm. If you catch a bus during peak and travel into off-peak hours, your full journey, including services you transferred to will be charged at peak fares.
Off-peak discounts do not apply to cash fares or if you are travelling on another discount including Child, School, Tertiary and Accessible.
Getting to and from school by bus
We no longer have school term passes. If your child catches the bus to school they should use a Snapper card. Get a red or green Snapper card and make sure it is loaded with a child concession and they will travel for 50% of the Adult Snapper fare.
There is a 50% discount for school-aged children. You need to get a child concession applied to your Snapper card for buses and there is a Concession 10-Trip ticket for trains. Under fives travel for free. You do need to have a child or school concession loaded on your red Snapper card. The green Snapper already has the child concession loaded. Child cash fares are also 50% of the Adult fare but this is more expensive than using Snapper.
Remember children under five travel for free.
If you are a full-time tertiary student you can receive a 25% discount with a tertiary concession loaded on your Snapper card.
Total Mobility card holders and Blind Foundation members get a 50% discount off the adult Snapper fare. The Accessible Concession is available on Metlink buses, trains and ferries, except after midnight buses.
If you require assistance for your travel, a carer can come with you and travel for free. You will need to show Metlink staff your Total Mobility Card or Blind Foundation ID.
You travel for free with your SuperGold card during off-peak hours:
- 9:00am - 3:00pm and after 6:30pm weekdays
- All day weekends and public holidays
During peak hours you will need to pay the full adult fare. If you are travelling by train a 10-Trip ticket is the most cost-effective option or Snapper on Metlink buses.
Transfers for selected SuperGold card journeys in Wellington city
As part of the changes, about 5% of all journeys in Wellington City will require customers to transfer to another bus to complete their journey. This means that Gold Card customers travelling in the afternoon may need to break up their off-peak journey to transfer to another bus in the afternoon peak (after 3pm). To preserve current conditions for Gold Card customers in these cases, they will be able to continue their off-peak journey for free if they transfer to a second Metlink bus between 3pm and 3.30pm in Wellington city.
To get the free transfer, all you need to do is tell the driver that you have transferred from a previous off-peak service, and get on – it’s that simple.
SuperGold is a New Zealand government initiative for over 65s. Find out more about SuperGold (external link) .
30-day bus passes
If you commute to the CBD by bus a 30-day pass may be the best option for you, especially if you travel during peak. There are two 30-day bus pass options for travel:
- Between zones 1 to 3 in Wellington city - ideal if you are travelling from Johnsonville or the Eastern suburbs such as Miramar, Seatoun and Strathmore Park. It includes Routes 60 and 60e as long as you tag on and tag off within zones 1 to 3. It also includes After Midnight Routes N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. It can't be used on school routes, Eastbourne routes 81, 83, 84 and 85x or After Midnight Routes N6, N8, N22, N66 and N88
- From Eastbourne to Wellington city (Routes 81, 83, 84 and 85) and can be used on Wellington city routes as long as you tag on and tag off within zones 1 to 3. It also includes After Midnight routes N1, N2, N3, N4, N5 and N88. It can't be used on school services, Routes 60 and 60e and on After Midnight routes N6, N8, N22 and N66.
You can find out how to buy these passes on the Snapper website (external link) or from Snapper retailers. It is loaded onto your Snapper card. As this is a 30-day pass, it can start any time during the month.
Wellington 30-day bus pass (for travel within zones 1 to 3 only)
Eastbourne 30-day bus pass (for travel on routes 81, 83, 84, 85x, N88 and Metlink buses within zones 1 to 3 only)
MonthlyPlus pass - it includes your bus trip to the station
If you catch the bus to your local railway station, MonthlyPlus covers both the train and bus trips. Just show your MonthlyPlus pass to the bus driver. It allows you to travel on trains to and from Wellington Station plus on any bus within zone 4 and the outer zone specified on the ticket at any time. The MonthlyPlus pass does not include bus travel within zones 1 to 3 in Wellington city or Johnsonville. Find out more about the MonthlyPlus pass.
Metlink Explorer day pass for bus and train
If you are visiting Wellington or want a day of travelling around Wellington the Metlink Explorer day pass covers unlimited daily travel on Metlink buses and trains.
Travel starts after 9:00am, includes after midnight services and includes free travel for an accompanying child aged 5 to 15 years (under fives travel for free).
|For travel within zones||Fare|
|Zones 1 to 3||$10.00|
|Zones 1 to 7||$15.00|
|Zones 1 to 10||$20.00|
|Zones 1 to 14||$25.00|
You can use Metlink Explorer on After Midnight bus services but not on the harbour ferries or cable car.