Transport in the Bay of Plenty under Alert Level 2

Transport in the Bay of Plenty under Alert Level 2

Published: 13 May 2020

last update: 24 May 2020 for school services


The Government has announced that New Zealand will be moving to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on 13 May 2020.

The Government has advised that the general rule for Alert Level 2 is to play it safe. This means that if you are feeling sick you should stay home; Do not go to work or school. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 you should avoid using public transport.

Public transport services will return to normal levels while we are at Alert Level 2 so people can travel to where they need to go. However, please note that the Government has advised that you must not travel to events which do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2. 

Public transport users are also advised that passenger capacity on buses will be significantly lower than what was available prior to COVID-19. This is because of the need to maintain physical distancing on-board the bus as required by the Government for Alert Level 2.

Alternative ways of working under Alert Level 2 are also being encouraged by the Government, such as remote working, shift-based working, physical distancing, staggering meal breaks and flexible leave.

We also encourages bus users to consider travelling outside of usual peak hours (7-9am and 3-7pm) where possible. This not only supports physical distancing as more people return to work, but also helps reduce peak congestion and the strain on public transport to make sure everyone can get to where they need to go quickly and safely.

All public transport bus services will remain free until advised.

For more information of where and when you are permitted to travel under Alert Level 2 go to


Travelling at Alert level 2

Not all services will be running at the start on level 2, If you do have to travel, stay updated with the latest service alerts 


Physical distancing must be observed on all buses. While we will be operating to normal schedules, we will be running at reduced capacity while under Alert Level 2 to make sure safe physical distancing can be achieved. Urban bus services will allow passengers to sit by the window (see example below) Please note that standing on buses will not be allowed while we are at Alert Level 2.

There will be signage on-board buses to guide customers to where they can and cannot sit based on physical distancing restrictions.

Physical distancing of two metres must still be observed at all bus stops and exchanges.

Customers may not be able to get on the bus that they want to because of available space to maintain safe physical distancing.

We anticipate that public transport will be a lot busier under Alert Level 2 so, if people can, they should consider walking or riding a bike as it may be a good option for some returning to work or school.



All of our bus operators have completed germ shield fogging on all buses. The antibacterial spray coating is effective in destroying germs that come into contact with surfaces and has been used for MRSA, Norovirus and H1N1 type viruses.  Bus operators have also increased their daily cleaning regime of the buses.


School buses for Tauranga - updated 24 May

Bay Hopper school bus services will operate during Alert Level 2 and start on Monday, 18 May. Following the Government’s guidelines, physical distancing measures will be different to our urban bus services.

The Ministry of Health has issued  updated guidelines for the Council operated school buses during Alert Level 2.  Capacity will still be impacted on some of our school services.  

  • Buses that are dedicated to school trips and don’t do any urban trips are now able to carry a full seated and standing load;
  • Buses that are integrated with our urban network and are able to be cleaned part way through the day as well as at night are able to carry a full seated load but no standing passengers; and
  • Buses that are integrated with our urban network and are unable to be cleaned part way through the day are limited to 20 passengers per trip.  These buses are fully cleaned overnight.
  • Please review the SCHOOL BUS PLAN - LEVEL 2 for specifics capacities for each route

For buses the still have limited capacity, we ask that parents consider making alternative arrangements to get their child to and from school in the case that capacity is an issue on your child’s bus.

Vehicles and surfaces will be sanitised daily. 

Bus lists must be maintained for contact tracing purposes.  As per Ministry of Education advice, schools will be responsible for these lists.  Please contact your school if you have questions concerning contact tracing.


Total Mobility

Total Mobility services are available at alert level 2.  Please visit the Total Mobility page for the latest updates


More information

All information and updates will be posted to our website under Latest News or Service Updates.  If you cannot find the information you need on our website our call centres are open and customers can speak to us by calling 0800 4 BAYBUS (0800 4 229 287) Call centre hours between 6 am and 10 pm Monday to Sunday. 

The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s special COVID-19 website at



On behalf of BOPRC Transportation team and all hard-working bus and cleaning staff and bus drivers, thank you for your patience and understanding.