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Following the announcement that Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 on Monday, Auckland Transport (AT) school buses will return to normal operation from Monday 31 August with the following conditions:

  • Schools must continue to keep register of students using school buses as they did previously under Alert Level 2.
  • School students are not required, but are encouraged to wear face masks or face coverings when on dedicated school buses, and when entering and exiting.
  • Students using public buses, trains and ferries must wear face masks or face coverings unless they are under 12 years old. People with a disability or physical or mental health condition that makes covering their face unsuitable do not have to wear face coverings. Other exemptions may be provided when the new Health Order is released.
  • Students are encouraged to wash or sanitise their hands before and after every trip.
  • Payment is to be made by AT HOP card only – please encourage your students to make sure their AT HOP card is registered.
  • Buses will be upgraded this weekend to make a triple beep sound to advise passengers that their AT HOP card is not registered, so they can be encouraged to register it.
  • NZ COVID Tracer QR codes will be placed inside buses. When using public buses passengers must tag on using registered HOP Card and then scan QR code using NZ COVID Tracer App on their phone. Clarification if QR codes must be scanned on dedicated school buses will be provided when the new Health Order is released. However, we strongly encourage all students to get HOP cards, register them and use QR scanner if they have access to a device to do so.
  • Boarding and exiting will be through the rear door on buses with two doors. Single door buses can be used as normal and bus drivers will be wearing face masks.
  • The area around the driver will be out of bounds to provide physical distance for protecting drivers. This area will be clearly marked in the bus.
  • Buses continue to be sanitised in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • School Buses will not have a restricted capacity, including the ability to have standing passengers.
  • Standees are allowed on School Bus Services – because school buses are a controlled environment the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday 22 May 2020 that a consistent approach to standees can be adopted for school bus services contracted to Ministry of Education and councils/ AT.
  • Buses used on dedicated school bus trips are also used on urban trips and will have seating arrangements and seat stickers installed for use on urban trips, these do not apply for school bus trips.
  • Maximum capacity stickers on the outside of buses will also installed for urban trips only and these capacity restrictions do not apply to dedicated school bus trips.
  • Due to no restriction to capacity on dedicated school buses, and no resources available, AT will not be able to provide additional buses on some trips as we did when we had capacity restriction under pervious Alert Level 2

 Update your AT HOP card contact details

Your AT HOP card supports contact tracing easier. And having an up-to-date contact phone number will make contact tracing faster. Go to and log in to update your details. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten your password, it’s easy to have it reset.

We all have an important part to play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Find the latest information and advice from Auckland Transport. For the latest news from the Ministry of Health go to the Unite Against Covid-19 website.

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