Great news!

Free weekend, public holiday and school holiday bus travel for people 18 and under in Hamilton*.

We are excited that all people 18 and under now get to ride the bus for free on the weekends, public holidays - and now school holidays -  in Hamilton. 

It's easy - here are the details; 

At primary or intermediate school? Jump on board and the driver will issue you a free ticket. 

At high school? Show your school ID to the driver and they will issue you a free ticket. 

Not at school or don’t have a school ID? Show the driver some proof of age like a driver's licence and you will get your free ticket. If you don’t have ID just come and see us at the BUSIT counter inside the Transport Centre with proof of your date of birth (ie. birth certificate etc) and we will organise you an ID card. We are open Monday to Friday 8am-4.30pm.  

Enjoy your FREE weekends, public holidays AND school holidays.

*Free travel applies within the Hamilton City Boundary on Saturdays, Sundays and public, and school holidays. Under 5s travel free at all times. The free weekend and school holiday travel is a one year trial and is supported by Hamilton City Council.

FAQ about free travel for youth on weekends and school holidays

What age do I have to be to get free youth travel?

You must be 18 or under to receive the free travel in the weekends, public holidays and school holidays. 

Can I get free travel during the week?

Yes - during school holidays you can.

School holiday periods include;

- 30 September 2019- 11 October 2019

- 16 December 2019- 24 January 2020

- 14 April 2020 to 24 April 2020

Outside of these dates normal fares apply Monday – Friday.

Do I still have to use my BUSIT card even though it is free?

No you won't need your BUSIT card, just jump on and show your ID (if you are over 14 years old). 

What ID can I use to show that I am 18 or under?

You can use any form of ID that has your date of birth printed on it. 

What happens if the driver doesn’t accept my ID?

You can come into the BUSIT counter at the Transport Centre with your ID showing your age and we can make you up a BUSIT youth concession ID card. Show the driver this ID card to receive free travel. 

If I am travelling with my children can I get the free travel as well?

Unfortunately no, anyone that is older than 18 cannot receive the free youth weekend/school holiday travel. 

Can I transfer with my free fare ticket?

No you cannot use your ticket as a transfer, you will need to present your ID again to your next bus/driver as well, but don’t worry it will also be a free fare!

What buses can I use with the youth free travel?

The youth free travel in the weekends, public holidays and school holidays only applies to the buses within the Hamilton city boundary, for any of our regional buses normal child or adult fares will apply.


Ideas of some bus adventures! 

Here some ideas of where you can adventure by bus in Hamilton on the weekends and school holidays-

  • Travel to The Base on the Comet, Orbiter and 18.Te Rapa-  for shopping and the great playground. 
  • Travel to Chartwell Westfield for shopping, a bite to eat or the movies on the 5. Chartwell, Orbiter, or the 4. Flagstaff.
  • Waterworld is open year round and is served by the 18. Te Rapa. 
  • Bus to the Hamilton Zoo on the 3. Dinsdale! It’s the perfect destination for a day out with family and friends. 
  • Have a picnic at the Lake, walk one way, bus the other or use the bus both ways and hit the playgrounds. 
  • Hamilton Gardens is always a great adventure by bus-  the 29. Hamilton Gardens service travels into Gate 1 for direct access to the gardens and a short walk to the playground. 
  • Jump on a urban service bound to the Transport Centre and explore the CBD- including Centre Place, Garden Place, and the Library. Also check out the Waikato Museum and Exscite which easily accessed on the free CBD Shuttle.
  • The city libraries are easy to get to by bus as well- 
    • For the Chartwell Library jump on the 5 - Chartwell, Orbiter, and the 4 – Flagstaff.
    • Check out the Dinsdale library by simply catching the 3 – Dinsdale
    • Bus to the St Andrews library with the 1 – Pukete. 
    • Travel to the Hillcrest Library just catch the 2 – Silverdale.
  • Score a hole in one at the Callum Brae Golf & Café or hang out at the playground next door. Just catch the 16 Rototuna. 
  • Catch the bus to check out some of the renowned destination playgrounds in Hamilton 
    • The 14. Claudelands to Claudelands Park
    • The 8. Frankton or the 9 – Nawton to Dominion Park
    • The RC. Rototuna Circular or 4N. Flagstaff North to Hare Puke Park.

Tips on making bus travel with kids stress-free

  • All Hamilton buses are fully accessible – no steps to get on board and have dedicated wheelchair/pram space. Please remember wheelchair users do take priority so there may be times prams will need to be folded.
  • Plan your journey using the journey planner on the homepage and see which route your bus will take.
  • If you have a three wheeled buggy, it may be easier to ‘reverse’ the buggy out of the bus, so your two back wheels hit the footpath first – particularly if you’ve got two kids on board. 
  • Let your pre-schooler push the button to let the driver know you want to get off at the next stop – trust us… it will be the highlight of their trip. 
  • The best time to travel with young kids is between the hours of 9am and 2:30pm there’s usually more seats available and you’ll beat the school rush. Also means you’ll be home in time for afternoon naps.