Skip to main content Skip to footer

Baybus OnDemand: A New Rideshare Service Debuts in Tauranga

March 2024

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is launching an exciting new Baybus OnDemand public transport service on Monday 25 March. Set to run for up to 18 months, the OnDemand trial reflects our commitment to offering more attractive and sustainable transport choices for our community.

Baybus OnDemand in Tauranga South is a corner-to-corner rideshare service featuring a fleet of electric minivans. These smaller vehicles will provide flexible connections between local destinations and link passengers to the wider Baybus network, adapting in real-time to customer needs.

Service details

  • Operating within Tauranga South including Gate Pā, Greerton, Parkvale, Pyes Pā, Tauriko and The Lakes.
  • Available daily from 6am to 7pm (excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day).
  • Book via dedicated app, Baybus OnDemand, calling 0800 4 BAYBUS (0800 4 229 287) or in person at a participating Book on Behalf organisation or business.
  • Standard fare is $3.40 per trip, reduced to $2.72 with a Bee Card (adhering to current Baybus fare structure), Baybus concessions and transfers are available.
  • Payment via app with credit/debit card or your Bee Card (no cash payments).

Public Transport Director Mike Seabourne explains, “Our OnDemand vans don't follow set routes. Instead, they take the most efficient path to your destination, considering the needs of all passengers onboard. This approach ensures less waiting time and a more direct journey, enhancing the overall passenger experience.

“Baybus OnDemand is perfect for our senior residents and families. It means hassle-free trips to essential services like Grace Hospital or places of worship. Families will appreciate the ease of errands to Tauranga Crossing, shopping in Fraser Cove or getting to after school activities. OnDemand is about freedom and convenience - taking you where you need to go, when you need to be there.

“This service represents a new era of public transport - adaptable, efficient, and eco-friendly.”

Mercury is sponsoring the trial, which includes providing electric chargers for the fleet (four 8-seater electric minivans and one 5-seater equipped with ramps and a wheelchair hoist). This support, as well as funding from NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, technology from Via and experienced operator Ritchies, played a crucial role in bringing this vision to life.  

Mercury spokesperson Lucie Drummond says, “Renewable electricity is New Zealand’s competitive advantage. We’re excited to play a role in supporting New Zealand’s energy transition, including by making e.transport more accessible for communities through initiatives like this.”

As we introduce Baybus OnDemand, the Route 51 bus service from Pyes Pā to Tauranga Crossing will be removed from Tauranga’s urban Baybus network. We plan to monitor use closely, but at this stage, we are not proposing to make changes to other urban routes or school bus services. Our goal is to complement fixed public transport routes, aiming to increase overall patronage and efficiency.

For more details or to start using Baybus OnDemand

  • Visit
  • Baybus OnDemand app will be available for download from your preferred app store, starting Monday 18 March.
  • The service commences from Monday 25 March.

 About the Baybus OnDemand trial

The trial, which is set to run for up to 18 months in Tauranga South, will explore the effectiveness of on-demand services in complementing or replacing traditional bus routes, with a focus on improving public transport's reach, efficiency, and user satisfaction.


For further media information, please contact 

Image below: Public Transport Committee Chair, Councillor von Dadelszen (left) and Director Public Transport, Mike Seabourne (right) with the Baybus OnDemand vehicles.