Schoolhopper FAQ


For information about the Schoolhopper fares, visit our Tauranga fares page


Tickets will be issued for each trip a student takes on the Schoolhopper network. They contain a lot of useful information for Smartride Card holders, including card numbers and card balances. We recommend students hold on to their most recent ticket and top up receipt.

Smartride Card ticket

Schoolhopper Smartride Card Ticket

Smartride Card Topup receipt

Schoolhopper Card Topup Receipt

Cash ticket

Schoolhopper cash ticket


We’ve only included the Schoolhopper routes on this website. Some rural routes will continue to be Ministry of Education funded and other routes are funded by schools and users.

For Ministry of Education rural routes, please call XXXXXX or email XXXXX to get details.

For direct funded routes, please visit

Our call centre does not have information about these routes.

For information about Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA), please contact the Ministry of Education on XXXXXXX.

Please visit your individual route page – you can find your route by looking at the routes that service your school, or by the route number.


Ministry of Education rural bus services

The Ministry of Education provides rural school bus services in the greater Tauranga area.

To view details about the routes available visit 

If you require more information about routes or whether you are eligible to use these services, please contact your school.


Tauranga Transport Network Group

A group of 13 schools are part of the Tauranga Transport Network Group, which receives funding from the Ministry of Education to provide rural school bus services from rural areas for eligible students.

To find out if your school is part of this network and details about eligibility, visit

Using the bus

Each route has specific stops, with timings given for key stops. You can find out the location of these stops and the timings for them on the individual route pages.

The main timetable tab has key timing points.

You can see the route on the Route Map tab

All stops are detailed on the Bus Stops tab

Students should wait at the named bus stop around 5 minutes before the time shown on the webpage (as found on the individual route pages) and signal the driver when they see the bus coming. Please stay well clear of the road when you do this – but make sure you aren’t blocked from view of the driver by anything such as a plant or sign.

It will have a yellow and black “School” sign on the front and back, and a Schoolhopper route number will be visible in the front window of the bus.



If a bus has the maximum number of passengers on it, the driver will call the bus company to request another bus is sent out to pick up the remaining students. In some instances, depending on how close the bus is to the end of the route, it may drop students off and return to pick up the remaining students. 

Each bus is different. By law a Loading Certificate must be displayed on the front windscreen of the bus, which details the number of primary and secondary students it can carry. Bus companies can receive a fine for exceeding their loading limit, so although a bus may look overcrowded, it is rare for a bus to be overloaded. If you are concerned about the loading on a particular bus, please note the registration number and use the contact form on this website to let us know.

No, these services are for school students only.

Items found on the buses will be held by the bus companies for a set amount of time. Please also check with the school to make sure it hasn't been handed in there.

Please contact the relevant bus company to check whether items have been found.

You can find the appropriate operator by checking out the individual route pages.

Occasionally, and we generally time these with the start of the school year. If we do need to make changes to a route during the year we’ll let the people using the route and the affected school know first.

If you would like to suggest a change, please let us know by calling us on 0800 4 BAY BUS or emailing and we will take a look into the suggestion.


The journey children take to get to school is a shared responsibility between parents, schools, the bus company and the child. The bus company is responsible for providing a safe bus and a qualified bus driver. Schools are responsible for following up on reports of disruptive behaviour or vandalism. Parents need to make sure that their child is capable of travelling on a school bus and managing transfers between buses without assistance.

If the bad behaviour is serious (is a major distraction to the driver or puts other passengers at risk), the student may be stood down from the bus for a period of time. For less serious behaviours, a student may receive a warning or be asked to sign a behaviour contract.