Bus travel is not hugely popular in Auckland, at least among the middle and upper classes who prefer to drive their own cars. However, traveling by bus in the city is very convenient – the buses are clean and air-conditioned, there are routes to and through almost every neighbourhood, plenty of stops, and buses arrive at every stop several times each hour, usually on time.
Planning a bus trip is simple at http://www.maxx.co.nz/ — simply enter your departure point and your destination and you will be told exactly what bus(es) to take, bus stop locations, arrival times, how long your ride will be and how much it will cost.
Every major bus route in Auckland city is represented by a different colour. Stops for that bus route will prominently display that colour for you to spot, so if you remember what colour you’re looking for, it’s difficult to get lost or get on the wrong bus.
Bus travel is also inexpensive. Within the inner city a bus trip costs 50 cents. The Link Bus, which links the inner city with the inner suburbs like Ponsonby and Parnell, costs $1.90. Bus fares to and from the city vary by distance, but are generally under $10 no matter from how far away you are coming. Discounted tickets can be purchased in groups of 10 and monthly passes are also available.
The HOP card is New Zealand’s smart card for bus services. It costs $10 and using the card gives the user at least 10% discount off a single cash fare. Innter city trips are free. There are various transport centers and retailers where you can purchase and top off your card. For more information, visit the HOP website.
The procedure for riding the bus in Auckland is simple. Wait at the stop and when you see your bus coming, raise your arm to signal the driver.
You pay your fare to the driver. Small notes can be changed, although it is easiest to bring exact change. Your ticket will come out of the machine. If you are using a HOP card, place the card flat against the reader when you enter the bus and again when you exit so that you are sure the correct distance and cost has been registered.
When it’s time to get off, pull the cord to signal the driver.
Bus timetables, fare information and more are available at http://www.maxx.co.nz.