Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Using your AT HOP card

Use your AT HOP card to tag on before you board your train, ferry or bus, then tag off when you finish your trip. If you don’t tag on or tag off your AT HOP card you may be charged a penalty fare of up to $20, depending on the service used or the distance travelled.


How to tag on and tag off

At train stations, ferry terminals and pontoons and on board buses you'll see AT HOP card readers.

  1. Tag on by holding your AT HOP card flat and still to the AT HOP card reader or electronic gate,
  2. Wait for the beep and the green light, then you're ready to go. Two beeps, a green light plus an amber light shows you are travelling on a concession fare.
  3. When you've completed your journey, do the same as you exit the train station, bus, ferry terminal or pontoon, to tag off.

If you have a problem tagging on

If your AT HOP card is not allowing you to tag on it may be due to one of the following reasons:

Negative balance

The minimum amount you can top up is $5, and you cannot travel on a card with a negative balance. A negative balance (or IOU) can be cleared by topping up your card by $5 (minimum top up) or by the value of the negative balance, whichever is greater.
You can check your balance using a top-up machine, at a retailer, or if your card is registered you can view your balance online.

Incorrect tag on

You may not have tagged on at the correct device, or withdrawn your card too quickly from the reader. If there is no beep and green light, please try to tag on again.

Device error or faulty card

There may have been a device error or you may have a faulty card. You will need to visit an AT customer service centre, where your card will be examined, and will be replaced free of charge if a technical fault is detected.

Cancelled card

Auckland Transport monitors AT HOP cards to ensure they are being used correctly, which includes tagging on and tagging off for every trip. If you consistently fail to tag on or tag off, your AT HOP card may be cancelled. If your AT HOP card is registered, we will try to contact you and discuss the problem.

If your AT HOP card has been cancelled due to failed tag-on or tag-off, any passes or HOP Money may be forfeited and you will need to purchase a replacement.

If there are any issues with your AT HOP card or balance, please phone the AT HOP call centre on 09 366 4467, or visit an AT customer service centre to discuss your concerns.

You must still have a valid ticket for travel if your AT HOP card is not working. You can purchase a paper ticket from a ticket office or a top-up machine, or from a bus driver.

Use your AT HOP card to tag on before you board your train, ferry or bus, then tag off when you finish your trip. If you don't tag on and tag off you may be charged a penalty fare.

Failing to tag on and tag off

Your AT HOP card will be checked once you are on board the train, ferry or bus.

If you forget to tag off you will be charged a penalty for failure to tag off, which will be automatically deducted the next time you tag on. If this penalty fare puts your HOP money balance below $0, you will be unable to tag on until you load additional HOP money onto your AT HOP card. Note that the minimum amount you can top up is $5.

If you haven’t tagged on a train you will be required to pay the penalty fare.

Changing your mind after tagging on

If you tag on and then decide to not board the train or ferry, you can tag off at the same station, ferry terminal or pontoon within 20 minutes of tagging on and you won't be charged for a trip.

If you tag on a bus and decide not to travel, you will need to tag off at the bus driver console to not be charged.

Fares charged to your AT HOP card

When you tag on and board the train, ferry or bus, an initial fare will be charged to your card. If you forget to tag off this charge will remain on your card as a penalty fare the next time you tag on. This fare may be more expensive than your normal fare. When you tag off after disembarking, the system will calculate the fare and charge only the distance you have travelled. AT HOP card provides at least 25% discount off single trip cash bus and train fares and at least 20% discount off single trip cash ferry fares. (Excludes SkyBus and Waiheke ferry services). 

Repeatedly failing to tag on and tag off may result in your card being cancelled. If your card is cancelled you will need to purchase a replacement AT HOP card.

Fares charged incorrectly

If you think a fare has been charged incorrectly, register your AT HOP card online, then login to your account and select View transactions and you can request a refund for us to review. You can also print a record of your most recent travel at a top-up machine or ask at a customer service centre or AT HOP retailer.

Paying for travelling companions

If you're travelling with someone without an AT HOP card on a train or a bus, you can also use your HOP Money to buy a paper ticket for them. Full cash fare price applies.

Buses

Simply tag on as usual, then ask the bus driver to buy a paper ticket for your travelling companion.

Trains

Use your HOP Money to buy a paper ticket from a Ticket & Top-up Machine.

Card balance expiry

If you top up online and do not to tag on at an AT HOP reader or electronic gate at a train station or ferry terminal within 60 days of an online top up, this top up will expire, if this happens, please contact us.

In all other circumstances your total balance will be valid for up to two years from the date of your most recent top up.

Please note that your AT HOP card, and any value loaded on it, will expire if the card is not used, no refund is requested, the card is cancelled, or no HOP money or monthly pass value is loaded onto it for a continuous period of two years.

When your card expires, any value remaining on it will be forfeited and becomes the property of Auckland Transport. If this happens, you may contact us and we will transfer any HOP Money or the HOP Money equivalent of any inactivated products to another AT HOP card purchased by you.

Using AT HOP on buses and trains

For train and bus travel (where AT HOP is available on your bus service), you can top up your AT HOP card with HOP money or load a monthly pass. You can top up or load a monthly pass onto your AT HOP card online, at top-up machines at train stations and the northern busway, train and ferry ticket offices, customer service centres or selected AT HOP retailers.

Using AT HOP on ferries

Operator tickets and passes are sold at the usual ferry outlets.

Ferry passengers - please ensure that you tag off at the correct reader for your route. AT HOP card readers are specific for the ferry service you are using.

If you are an occasional ferry passenger, then paying with HOP Money on an AT HOP card may be the best payment option, as you will receive at least 20% discount on the equivalent single trip cash fares on ferries (excludes Waiheke ferry services).

If you are a regular user find out more about the AT HOP monthly pass options available.

Please note that some tickets, including some 10-trip tickets are being phased out.

The following ferry operators will accept AT HOP cards:

  • Fullers Group
  • Pine Harbour Ferries
  • Belaire Ferries
  • 360 Discovery

Ferry services accepting AT HOP cards

Only the following services accept AT HOP cards:

  • Bayswater, Birkenhead, Northcote Point, Devonport and Stanley Bay,
  • Waiheke (Fullers ferries),
  • Pine Harbour,
  • West Harbour,
  • Gulf Harbour,
  • Half Moon Bay,
  • Hobsonville and Beach Haven.

Please contact us on the AT HOP call centre on 09 366 4467 or go to an AT customer service centre if you have any questions or problems with your card.

Penalty fares

If you don’t tag off, you will be charged the AT HOP card penalty for failure to tag off, which will be automatically deducted the next time you tag on.

Repeatedly failing to tag on and off and fraudulent behaviour will be monitored. It may result in your card being cancelled. Please contact the AT HOP call centre on 09 366 4467 or go to an AT customer service centre if you have any problems with your card.

Journeys will appear in your online account transaction history as:

  • Missing tag-off - the card was tagged-on but was not tagged-off

  • Missing tag-on - the card was tagged-off but was not tagged-on

Auckland Transport also monitors AT HOP cards for abnormal activity. Consistently failing to tag on/off may result in the card being cancelled.


Simpler fares

With an AT HOP card, you pay for one entire journey from A to B, instead of paying for each bus or train separately.

Tag on and off each bus and train as you do now, and simply count the number of zones you travel through to work out your fare.

During your journey you can use up to 5 buses or trains within 4 hours, with a maximum transfer time of 30 minutes between each trip.

If you are travelling within a zone overlap area as part of your journey and paying with an AT HOP card (this means tagging on and off within the same overlap area), this may count as travelling through a new zone.

Find out how simpler fares work.


You may also be interested in:


Terms of use of the AT HOP cards are available here. The most recent financial statements of Auckland Transport are available here.