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Public Transportation in Napier

Mastering the public transportation system in Napier is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.
|-Public Transportation in Napier

Napier, a coastal city located in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand, offers a variety of public transportation options for both locals and visitors. The city’s public transportation system is primarily composed of buses, taxis, and cycling paths. The Go Bay bus service, operated by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, is the main public transportation system in the city. Taxis and private hire cars are also readily available, and the city’s flat terrain and extensive cycling paths make it a bike-friendly city. For those considering a car-free lifestyle in Napier, the city’s public transportation system and walkability make it a feasible option.

Go Bay Bus Service

The Go Bay bus service is the primary public transportation system in Napier. The service operates multiple routes that cover the city and its surrounding areas, including Hastings, Havelock North, and Flaxmere. The buses are generally safe and reliable, making them a good option for everyone, including women travelling alone and children going to school. The cost of a bus ride varies depending on the distance travelled, but fares are generally affordable. For frequent users, a Go Bay card can be purchased for discounted fares. The buses operate from early morning until late evening, but service frequency decreases during off-peak hours and on weekends. Therefore, planning your travel ahead of time is recommended.

Taxis and Private Hire Cars

Taxis and private hire cars are another popular mode of transportation in Napier. They offer a convenient and flexible way to get around the city, especially for those who prefer a more private mode of transportation. There are several taxi companies operating in the city, including Napier Taxis and Hastings Taxis. The fares are metered and can be higher than bus fares, especially during peak hours. However, they can be a good option for late-night travel or when travelling with a large group or heavy luggage. Private hire cars, such as Uber, are also available in the city.


Napier is known for its extensive network of cycling paths, making it one of the most bike-friendly cities in New Zealand. The city’s flat terrain and scenic coastal and riverside paths make cycling a pleasant and healthy way to get around. There are several bike hire companies in the city, offering a range of bikes for all ages and abilities. The city also has a bike-sharing program, which allows users to rent a bike for a short period of time. The cost of hiring a bike varies, but it can be a cost-effective option for regular commuters. However, cyclists should be aware of the city’s weather conditions, as Napier can be windy at times.

In conclusion, Napier’s public transportation system, combined with its walkability, makes it possible for an expat to live comfortably without a car. However, the choice ultimately depends on one’s lifestyle and personal preferences. For instance, those who value convenience and flexibility might prefer to have a car, while those who prefer a more active and eco-friendly lifestyle might opt for cycling and public buses. Regardless of the choice, Napier offers a range of transportation options to suit different needs and preferences.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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