Nelson City Council customer service officer Mike Wells with one of the new Bee Cards. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Bee Card comes to Nelson buses


Nelsonians will soon have a new way to pay when travelling by bus.

From 3 August, passengers will be able to travel for less using the new Bee Card, which will replace the NBus Card.

The Bee Card allows people to pay for their fares without using cash, access Nelson and Tasman’s cheapest bus fares and manage the money on several cards at once.

The cards are available for free from 6 July to 31 October online at or at Nelson City Council’s customer service centre, regional public libraries and the SBL Bus Depot. Outside of the free period, Bee Cards cost $5.

Council’s infrastructure committee chair Brian McGurk says the new Bee Card makes bus travel in the region smarter and easier.

“There’s now no need to fish out a couple of dollars from behind the couch if you have forgotten to take out cash for the bus. It’s also more convenient than the NBus card as there is now an option to top up money online, this means our cheapest bus fares are now accessible to more people.”

To top up a Bee Card online it needs to be registered at, as this will also allow users to set up concessions and protect stored credit if a card is lost or stolen.

All concessions are now managed through Bee Card and are either added to the card online or in person at a Bee Card retail outlet. There are no transaction fees for topping up a Bee Card.

Council has also put in place measures to help people understand the new system, including demonstrations and drop-in sessions at libraries. There will be ambassadors riding the bus in the lead up to the card’s launch.

Brian says it’s extremely important to council that everyone in Nelson is given the opportunity to use Bee Card.

“Cash fares are still available, but travel is cheaper with Bee Card. We know this new system may be a challenge for some groups, but we have a fantastic customer service team working across Nelson and Tasman who are ready to help people with all aspects of getting and using a Bee Card.

“This new technology can make life easier for everyone.”