How to pay for public transport using an AT HOP card
Pay for travel on buses, trains and ferries using an AT HOP card. Cash can be used to purchase a paper ticket for train or ferry travel only.
On this page
Getting started with AT HOP
An AT HOP card is a smart card you can add money to, so you can pay for bus, train or ferry fares in Auckland. Top up your card before you travel, then tag on and off our public transport services to pay as you go.
You need an AT HOP card to travel on buses — cash is not accepted. You can use cash to buy a paper ticket for train or ferry travel from a vending machine at the station or terminal.
Benefits of using AT HOP
- Get at least 20% off every single trip, compared to paying cash for train and ferry fares.
- Easily transfer between bus, train and ferry services.
- Pay just one fare as you travel between zones.
- Load applicable concessions on your card for further travel discounts.
How to tag on and tag off
You’ll need to tag on and tag off when you travel so we charge you the correct fare.
- Hold your AT HOP card flat against the card reader.
- Wait for the beep and a green light, then you’re ready to go.
- 2 beeps plus a green and amber light means you are travelling on a concession fare.
- 3 beeps plus a green light means your HOP card is not registered.
- When you’ve completed your journey, tag off by holding your card against the reader as you exit the train station, bus, or ferry terminal.
Your AT HOP card may be checked once you are on board the train, ferry or bus.
If you change your mind and decide not to board the service, just tag off within 20 minutes and you won’t be charged for the trip.
If you forget to tag on or off
If you forget to tag on or tag off, you will be charged the default fare, which will be automatically deducted next time you tag on.
If this default fare puts your card balance below $0, you will be unable to tag on until you top up your AT HOP card.
If you are unable to tag on or tag off
If your card isn’t allowing you to tag on or tag off, it could be one of the following:
- Your card has a negative balance: You must top up your card before tagging on again.
- Incorrect tag-on: You may have tagged on at the wrong reader or withdrawn your card too quickly. If there’s no beep and green light, please try again.
- Device error or faulty card: You’ll need to visit an AT customer service centre, where your card will be examined and replaced free of charge if there’s a technical fault.
- Fraudulent use: If we detect fare evasion or fraudulent behaviour, we may cancel your card. If your card is registered, we will try to contact you first.
Note: Even if your HOP card isn’t working, you must still have a valid ticket for travel. You can buy a paper ticket from a ticket office, vending machine or bus driver.
Paying for someone else
If you’re travelling on a train or bus with someone who doesn’t have a HOP card, you can use your HOP credit to buy a paper ticket for them. Full cash fares apply.
- To pay for more than one person, simply tag on as usual, then ask the bus driver to charge your HOP card for each passenger.
- To pay for more than one person on the train, use your HOP card to buy a paper ticket from a vending machine.
Lending your card to others
You can only lend your HOP card to someone else if:
- it does not have discount concessions loaded
- it is not a gold AT HOP card.
Other ways to pay for public transport
You can pay for the train or ferry with cash, but you must have a valid pre-purchased ticket before boarding. Remember, you cannot pay for the bus with cash.
We are investing in technology that will allow customers to pay for public transport with a credit, debit or digital card later in 2024.