Your new Orbus routes revealed

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From November 20 Queenstowners can take their cars to work – or bus free for a week.

Today Mountain Scene exclusively reveals the four new Orbus routes, which cover most of the Wakatipu Basin.

For the first seven days of the new service, until November 26, residents can ride the new Ritchies-operated buses and grab a GoCard for free.

From November 27, you can buy GoCards for $5 from the Milford Sound Scenic Flights desk at Queenstown Airport, O’Connells mall kiosk on Camp Street, or, in cash only, on every bus that’s part of the network.

You can top them up at the airport desk, kioks or (in cash only) on the bus – the minimum top-up is $10.

Next year a new ticketing system’s being introduced which will also let users top up their cards online.

GoCard holders can hop on any Orbus, swipe their card, and ride the bus to any destination in the network for a flat $2 one-way fee, with a free 30-minute “onward transfer” included.

As part of the changes being introduced next year, a “tag on, tag off” system will be implemented.

Cash fares are also available – it’ll cost $5 for an adult and $4 for a child to hop on an Orbus, or $10 for adults and $8 for kids if you’re airport-bound.

Commuters can find where their nearest bus stop is, and keep an eye on the bus they want to catch, using NZ Transport Agency’s free ‘Choice’ app.

The new service is a combined effort between the Otago Regional Council, Queenstown’s council and the transport agency and aims to reduce traffic congestion in the Wakatipu and provide an affordable alternative to driving.

The introduction of the service coincides with a hike in parking fees across the CBD.

Detailed info will be dropped in mailboxes across the Wakatipu this weekend and it’ll also be available from City Hall’s reception area, on Gorge Road.