Auckland Transport has come under fire for its convoluted process for senior citizens to get free travel loaded on to their Hop cards.

But the agency says two months' notice for seniors was enough and blamed the confusion on misinformation.

As of yesterday, 65 per cent of the 90,000 SuperGold holders who use Auckland's public transport had the concession loaded and 17,844 were in the mail.

From July 1 any senior citizen who hasn't loaded their concession will be expected to pay a cash fare instead of getting the free off-peak travel.

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After being contacted by several people complaining about the procedure, the Herald visited a customer service centre at New Lynn yesterday where more than 15 pensioners were waiting, some more than an hour, to get their concessions loaded on to an AT Hop card.

Kaye Lally, from Taranaki, was up over Queen's Birthday weekend and on the Sunday went to the New Lynn station but was told she then had to go home and register her card online.

She returned the next Tuesday and was told by staff there was a long wait and she was number 60. Not everyone arriving realised they needed a number and Mrs Lally suggested staff make signs to explain the process but was told they weren't allowed. "It's a shambles," Mrs Lally said.

Grey Power's Anne-Marie Coury said Auckland Transport has known since December it needed to move 90,000 people on to the cashless system.

"It just seems like [Auckland Transport] left it to the last minute and the information [isn't] clear," she said.

But Auckland Transport defended its strategy, saying there was "a balance between communicating too early and not communicating early enough" and said many of the concerns raised to them were based on misinformation which had been circulating.

What to do

How to get a SuperGold concession on an At Hop card:

Step one: Buy a gold AT Hop card.

Step two: Register your card. To register online you need an email address. If you don't have an email address, then post your form and copies of your ID. Auckland Transport will register your card for you and load your concession.

Step three: Apply and load your SuperGold public transport concession on your gold AT Hop card via online, post or in person.

Step four: Wait five working days for the concession to be loaded, then take a trip on public transport within 60 days to activate it.

• Freephone customer helpline (0800 AT GOLD / 0800 284 653)