The Accessibility Concession provides free public transport across the Bay of Plenty for anyone who is permanently unable to drive and meets the eligibility criteria. Bay of Plenty Regional Council is excited to provide this service and more travel options to members of our community across the region.
- Thursday 01 July 2021
How do I qualify for the Accessibility Concession?
Free travel by public transport is available to people who have an impairment that permanently prevents them from driving a private motor vehicle or, will be unable to drive once of legal driving age. This impairment could be physical, intellectual, psychological, sensory or neurological.
- Existing Total Mobility members prior to 1 July 2021 are automatically eligible but will need a Bee Card (if you do not have a Bee Card the standard $5 Bee Card charge is waived for Total Mobility users until 30 September 2021).
- You do not need to be an existing Total Mobility member in order to qualify. You will however need to be assessed by one of our approved assessing agencies.
What is the Accessibility Concession?
- The Accessibility Concession provides a 100% free fare, 7 days a week on all contracted Bay of Plenty Regional Council bus services throughout the region.
- The Accessibility Concession will be loaded onto a Bee Card in the form of a red sticker and the passenger will need to tag-on and tag-off the bus.
What is the Accessibility +1 Concession?
- Accessibility Concession members who are assessed as being unable to travel independently by bus may also receive free transport for their companion.
- Their concession will include ‘+1’ companion travel.
- The Accessibility +1 Concession is a sticker that is added to the Accessibility Concession holder’s Bee Card (the companion does not need their own Bee Card to travel).
- Please show the bus driver the +1 sticker on your card when you get on to the bus.
Where can I get a form to fill out?
Forms are held by assessing agencies. You will need to be assessed through one of our approved assessors - the list of approved assessors is available here.
What do I have to do to get the free travel?
There is an application process for the concession, including an eligibility assessment to be undertaken by an approved assessor - the list of approved assessors is available here.
I am with Total Mobility do I automatically qualify?
- Yes, if you are registered with Total Mobility prior to 1 July 2021, you will be eligible for the concession and will not need to undertake an assessment, however, you will still need to complete an application form which we will send out to you.
- Even if you already have a Bee Card, you still need to complete the application form when it is sent to you and return it to us to provide you with an Accessibility Concession sticker.
- From 1 July 2021, all new Total Mobility applicants will need to fill out both a Total Mobility application and an Accessible Concession application.
Is there an age limit?
Anyone of any age can apply for the Accessibility Concession. The eligibility is based on having an impairment that means you are permanently unable to drive a car now, or when you get to the legal driving age.
What times of the day do I receive the free travel?
You receive free travel any time of the day, every day of the week.
Can I show the driver my assessment notice or my Total Mobility card and get on the bus for free?
No, you must have your Bee Card loaded with your Accessibility Concession with you to tag-on and tag-off the bus, otherwise, you cannot travel for free. Applications may take up to two weeks to process.
I can’t drive temporarily can I get the free travel?
No, the Accessibility Concession is only available to people who are permanently unable to drive
Someone with a short-term disability (who is expected to recover within six months) would not be eligible for this concession.
I have not had my assessment done yet can I still get the free travel?
No, you cannot receive the free travel until you have had the eligibility assessment and received your Bee Card loaded with the Accessibility Concession. Please respect our drivers and continue to pay a fare until you receive your card.
How do the buses cater for Accessibility Concession holders?
Most of our buses can kneel on request and the driver can lay out a ramp so it’s easier to get on and off the bus. Please request the driver to assist you.
If you are a wheelchair user, you will have priority seating in the wheelchair bays on our buses. Certified assistance dogs, canes and other mobility aids are most welcome on our bus services. Accessibility Concession holders may also request a seat close to the bus driver. Please note that our buses are unable to accommodate mobility scooters.
The accessibility concession can be used on all buses and routes provided by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. However, even though the majority of our fleet are fully accessible vehicles, not all vehicles are. You can contact us on 0800 4 229 287 (0800 4 BAY BUS) if you have any concerns or queries.
Do I have to renew it?
Yes, the concession is required to be renewed every three years. You will be contacted prior to the expiry to advise of the next steps.
How long is the Accessibility Concession valid for?
Eligibility is permanent provided the Bee Card concession is renewed every three years, the renewal process will update changes to cardholder contact information and confirm continuing eligibility.
How much will an eligibility assessment cost me?
The assessment cost is decided by the assessing organisation please check with them, generally, most assessments are around $30-$40 per person.
Do I have to wear a mask on the bus?
Yes, you do need to wear a mask on the bus unless a health condition does not allow it.
Are there seatbelts for wheelchair passengers on the bus?
No, not all buses have seatbelts for wheelchair passengers.
Can I bring my service dog on the bus?
Yes, you can bring a certified service dog on all buses.
What happens to the credit that is on my Bee card after the Accessibility Concession is loaded?
Up until the end of September 2021, you will be able to get a refund if your Bee card has a balance of $5 or more when the Accessibility Concession is loaded. A process and a form must be completed before the funds can be put into your bank account. No cash can be provided and you will need a bank statement as proof of name and ownership of the account. You can download, compete and return the refund form here, or call us on 0800 4 229 287 (0800 4 BAY BUS) for help to complete.
If I am having trouble with my Accessibility Concession or public transport experience, who can I contact?
You can contact us on 0800 4 229 287 (0800 4 BAY BUS) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org