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Timaru To Lead The Way In Innovative Public Transport Payments

Canterbury is to be the first region in Aotearoa to benefit from seamless, convenient public transport payments.

The country’s much anticipated new National Ticketing Solution (NTS) is launching here first, starting with MyWay by Metro services in Timaru this December.

This will be followed by Timaru Metro school buses and the Temuka service in January 2025. Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri districts will transition to the new system as soon as practical in 2025, with more details to be announced in the coming months.

Introducing Motu Move 

The NTS programme has confirmed that the new national solution will be called Motu Move. Motu Move will allow customers to pay for public transport using contactless debit or credit cards as well as digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Prepaid Motu Move cards will also be available from a wide network of retailers.

The Metro and MyWay by Metro brands will continue to be the identity for our public transport services across Canterbury, with Motu Move complementing Metro as the way you pay for these services here and across the country as the programme continues.

Environment Canterbury Acting Chair Craig Pauling said it’s exciting to reach this milestone in the programme, which is a partnership between NZTA and 13 public transport authorities.

“We’re fortunate to be the first region in Aotearoa to launch Motu Move, which will eventually become the one ticketing and payment system for public transport across the motu,” he said.

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“Being able to pay with a contactless credit or debit card will make using public transport easier for all customers and means that visitors and first-time users won’t need to worry about buying a separate prepaid card. We also know that the data we get from Motu Move will help in planning future routes and service improvements.

“We’ve watched the Timaru community embrace MyWay by Metro with open arms over the last few years. The technology of the MyWay system means many of our customers are already used to paying for public transport with their credit or debit card and we'll be providing support for other customers as they transition from Metrocard payments to Motu Move.

Timaru Mayor Nigel Bowen said, "From our pioneering three bin system to our first in the country MyWay Service, Timaru has always been keen to try new things, so it's great to have been chosen to be the first place in the roll out of this innovative new payment system."

Following completion of the Canterbury rollout, the rest of the country will follow region by region.

On-bus preparation work begins 

The project has recently reached a significant milestone with some of our buses being wired in preparation for the new Motu Move equipment to be fitted onto vehicles closer to go-live.

Environment Canterbury director of public transport Giles Southwell said that while most of the installation is under the hood, there will be some visible changes.

“Customers will start to notice new poles with boxes attached at the front and rear doors on some of our buses. These are where the readers will eventually be that customers will use to tag on and off with their card or device once Motu Move is live in their area,” he said.

“The concept of tagging off is likely to be new to many of our customers. Tagging off is common on public transport in the rest of New Zealand and around the world. It completes the fare calculation for each trip and provides accurate data about how people are using public transport, to help us plan our services.”

More information coming 

“We will be closely supporting customers with this change to ensure the move to the new system is as smooth as possible. This will include working with community groups and support organisations and providing key information to all our customers well in advance before Motu Move goes live,” Giles said.

“We understand that there will be plenty of questions from our customers in Timaru, and the wider region. More information is coming for Timaru customers over the coming months, and other Canterbury customers towards the end of the year.”

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