Public transport in Christchurch
|Service type||Bus services|
|Fuel type||Diesel, biodiesel|
|Operator||Red Bus Ltd
Go Bus Christchurch
Black Cat Ltd
Since deregulation of the urban bus market in 1991 the Canterbury Regional Council (now branded Environment Canterbury) has taken responsibility for the tendering, planning and administration of public transport in Christchurch. Over the course of that time improvements and changes have shaped the predominantly bus based public transport system including the introduction of services such as the Orbiter. Originally branded as CanRide this was replaced in 2003 with the introduction of the Metro brand and the eventual Metrocard.
Ticketing and fares are, with some exceptions, standard across the city's network. The electronic Metrocard provides a discount off regular fares. Students receive a discount, and senior citizens travel free on off-peak services (9:00am to 2:30pm and after 6:30pm weekdays, all day weekends).
'Real-time' bus arrival times are displayed on electronic displays at bus stops, online and mobile (cellphone) WAP.
The 2011 earthquake resulted in significant changes to the Metro bus network with the two key changes. The first change was the removal and or reorganization of many routes due to road damage along routes or reduced patronage. The second change occurred in December 2012 with the shift of the bus network from a radial network to a hub and spoke model network. This resulted in many services being localized to hubs with connecting core services into the Central City and Cross Town.
The local bus service is marketed as Metro and designed, specified, put out to tender and subsidised by Environment Canterbury. All bus operators are required to display the required external Metro branding to vehicles under contract to Ecan.
Christchurch City Council provides roading infrastructure and street furniture such as signs and seats and regulates parking at bus stops, and is also owner of Red Bus Ltd through its holding company Christchurch City Holdings. The city council previously funded the zero-fare The Shuttle service which ended after the 2011 earthquake.
The city council provided the previous central city Bus Exchange in November 2000 which was damaged and closed after the 2011 earthquake. The previous Bus Exchange in the city centre served as the chief bus interchange point and passenger hub for the Metro network. The Exchange had attracted interest from other worldwide city authorities investigating how to improve their bus services. Since the Bus Exchange opened in 2000, the number of people using the bus service has doubled.
After two separate temporary central city facilities on the outer fringes of the CBD bus services shifted to the new Central Station back on Lichfield street which serves as a longer term temporary city bus stop.
The Christchurch City Council also provides bus lanes which operational during peak commuting hours on some routes. The routes have been controversial with some business owners concerned at the loss of parking from outside their businesses during the lanes operational times, but the lanes have improved bus travel times, schedule adherence and have resulted in an increase in passenger numbers.
Vehicle safety standards are regulated by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Suburban bus services
The new Central Station replaced the two temporary bus exchanges which had replaced the city's damaged Bus Xchange. The new exchange is located between Lichfield Street and Tuam Street and will operate for up to two years. The Link Shuttle service which linked the two temporary exchanges has now been terminated.
The following services are operated under the Metro brand.
|#||Route Name||Start||Major destinations||End||Timetable||Notes|
|B||Blueline||Princess Margaret Hospital||Colombo Street, Central Station, Papanui Road, Northlands Mall, Belfast, Kaiapoi||Rangiora||||
Every other service Belfast to Rangiora
|C||Comet||The Hub Hornby||Russley Road, Orchard Road (Airport), Bishopdale Mall||Northlands Mall (Papanui)|||
|M||Metrostar||Halswell||The Hub Hornby, Canterbury University, Riccarton Mall, Merivale Mall, The Palms Mall, QEII Park||New Brighton|||
|O||Orbiter||Eastgate Mall||St Martins, Princess Margaret Hospital, Barrington, Riccarton Mall, Canterbury University, Northlands Mall, The Palms Mall||Eastgate Mall|||
|3||Airport to Sumner||Airport||Avonhead, Canterbury University, Riccarton Mall, Christchurch Hospital, Central Station, Ferrymead Shops||Sumner||||
Limited service Airport to Avonhead
|5||Hornby to Southshore||Hornby||Riccarton Mall, Chch Hospital, Central Station, Fitzgerald Ave, Eastgate Mall, New Brighton||Southshore||||
Limited service New Brighton to Southshore
|7||Halswell to Queenspark||Kennedy's Bush||Halswell terminus, Halswell Shops, Addington Village, Chch Hospital, Central Station, CPIT, Fitzgerald Ave, The Palms Mall, New Brighton Road, Bower Ave/Beach Rd||Queenspark||||
Limited service Kennedy's Bush to Hallswell terminus and via CPIT
|17||Bryndwr to Hunstbury||Sheffield Crescent||Burnside, Central Station, Moorhouse Ave, Waltham, St Martins||Huntsbury|||
|21||Ilam to Mt Pleasant||Ilam||Canterbury University, Riccarton Mall, Moorhouse Ave, Central Station, Fitzgerald Ave, Eastgate Mall, Ferrymead||Mount Pleasant|||
|23||Hyde Park to Woolston||Hyde Park||Merrin St, Canterbury University, Chch Hospital, Central Station, Fitzgerald Ave, Eastgate Mall||Woolston|||
|28||Papanui to Lyttelton & Rapaki||Northlands Mall, Papanui||Cranford Street, Edgeware, Central Station, Opawa, Heathcote, Lyttelton||Rapaki||||
Limited service Lyttelton to Rapaki
|29||Airport to City via Fendalton||Central Station||Fendalton||Airport|||
|40||Middleton to Wainoni||Church Corner||Tower Junction, Central Station, Eastgate, Breezes Road/Wainoni Road||New Brighton|||
|44||North Shore||Central City - Parkside||Central Station, Bealey Ave, Warrington Shops, Shirley, The Palms Mall, Horseshoe Lake||North Shore|||
|60||Hillmorton to Parklands||Halswell Shops||Hillmorton, Barrington Mall, Selwyn St Shops, Central Station, Fitzgerald Ave, The Palms Mall, Burwood Hospital, Bower Ave/Beach Road||New Brighton|||
|81||Lincoln||Central City - CPIT||Central Station, Chch Hospital, Riccarton Mall, Church Corner, Prebbleton||Lincoln University|||
|83||Hei Hei||Central City - CPIT||Central Station, Chch Hospital, Riccarton Mall, Church Corner, Hei Hei||Hornby|||
|84||Russley||Central City - CPIT||Central Station, Chch Hospital, Riccarton Mall, Church Corner, Russley||Hornby|||
|88||Rolleston||Central City - CPIT||Central Station, Chch Hospital, Riccarton Mall, Church Corner, Hornby, Templeton||Rolleston|||
|95||Waiuku||Central City - CPIT||Central Station, Bealey Ave, Papanui Road, Belfast, Kaiapoi, Woodend, Pegasus||Waiuku Beach|||
|107||Styx Mill to Northlands Mall||Northwood Supa Centa||Styx Mill, Northwood, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve||Northlands Mall||||
|108||Casebrook to Northlands Mall||Northwood||Casebrook, Sawyers Arms Road||Northlands Mall||||
|111||Westmorland to Sydenham||Westmorland||Sparks Road, Barrington Mall||Sydenham Shops||||
|114||Barrington to Cashmere||Barrington Mall||Somerfield, Dyers Pass, Cashmere, Sign of the Takahe||Princess Margaret Hospital||||
|115||Murray Aysnley to Sydenham||Opawa||Murray Aynsley, Beckenham||Sydenham Shops||||
|118||Edgeware to Northlands Mall||Edgeware Village||St Albans||Northlands Mall||||
|119||Bishopdale to Northlands Mall||Sheffield Crescent||Nunweek Park, Harewood, Bishopdale Mall||Northlands Mall||||
|120||Burnside to Spreydon||Sheffield Crescent||Burnside, University of Canterbury, Westfield Riccarton, Addington, Spreydon||Barrington Mall||||
|146||Marshland to Dallington||Marshland||Burwood Hospital, The Palms||Gayhurst Road||||
|480||Kainga||Kaiapoi||Kainga, The Palms Mall||Shirley Boys' High School||||Saturdays only Kaiapoi to Kainga
|510||Aranui & Avondale Link||Eastgate Mall||Aranui, Avondale, Wainoni Pak n Save||Eastgate Mall||||No wheelchair access|
|535||Lyttelton Eastgate Link||Lyttelton||Ferry Road||Eastgate Mall||||
|820||Burnham to Lincoln||Burnham||Rolleston, Lincoln University||Lincoln - James Street||||
|951||Kaiapoi to Pegasus||Kaiapoi||Woodend||Pegasus||||
|952||Kaiapoi to Waiuku||Kaiapoi||Woodend, Kaiapoi Central||Waiuku||||
- ll Route operated by Red Bus
- ll Route operated by Go Bus Christchurch and includes the Urban Cat branded fleet
Bikes on buses
Christchurch was the first place in New Zealand where bikes were carried on suburban buses. The trial started in November 2007 on the 35 route to Heathcote. Bike racks on buses are provided on many routes now. Other towns have now followed the example, including Hawkes Bay, Taupo and Nelson.
Other transport services
There are a variety of taxi operators active in Christchurch. Operations are regulated by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
- Two bus routes are available from the airport bus stand located outside the International Arrivals Terminal;
- the number 3 bus (via Avonhead & City to Sumner)
- the number 29 bus (via Fendalton to City)
- One bus route is available at the entrance to the airport car park (5 minute walk from terminals) on Orchard Road and Memorial Avenue;
- the Comet (Hornby to Papanui via Airport)
- Shuttle vans provided by several operators, including most taxi companies, provide door-to-door transport to and from the Airport.
Diamond Harbour ferry
A ferry connects the suburb of Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour, a settlement on the opposite side of Lyttelton Harbour. Ferries first began crossing Lyttelton Harbour in 1888. The ferry is operated by Black Cat Ltd.
Christchurch Tramway Ltd  operates a one-way tram circuit of the central city. This is mainly marketed as a tourist attraction, but is available to local commuters with an annual season ticket. Trams were originally introduced to Christchurch in 1905, ceased operating in 1954, and returned to the newly built inner city loop in 1995, mainly as a tourist attraction.
Preliminary investigation into light rail options for Christchurch have begun. Investigating options and protecting possible routes is an action point in the City Council's "A City for People Action Plan" (approved in 2010). The new Transport Interchange is being designed to accommodate a future light rail network.
Commuter rail service was discontinued in the 1970s, while long distance rail travel (by Tranz Scenic) has been scaled back to just TranzCoastal and TranzAlpine, which leave from an architecturally controversial station in Riccarton.
Christchurch's public transport system served as backdrop for Tim Veling's 2006 book "Red Bus Diary", in which the author toured the city on public buses and compiled the stories of the people he met.
- http://www.metroinfo.org.nz/about_us.html Transport operators
- "Bike-carrying racks on more bus routes from November". Christchurch: Environment Canterbury. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- Hawkes Bay Today Sep 11, 2012
- Taupo bus timetable.
- Nelson Mail 8/03/2012
- A Wheel on Each Corner, The History of the IPENZ Transportation Group 1956-2006 - Douglass, Malcolm; IPENZ Transportation Group, 2006, Page 12
- Red Bus website
- Metro website
- Diamond Harbour ferry website
- MetroMate website - application for finding your bus stop and obtaining realtime information of the bus(s) coming
- NZ In Tranzit Blog - Commentary & advocacy articles about transit in Christchurch & NZ