Transport options  |  15 Oct 2020

Environment Canterbury is increasing the frequency of buses on the popular Avonhead to Sumner route.

From 29 November, buses on the Purple Line (or Route 3) will run every 10 minutes all day on weekdays, and every 15 minutes during weekends.

ECan Transport Portfolio Lead Councillor Phil Clearwater said this is an exciting and significant step in delivering the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) objective of providing more buses more often.

“We’re very excited to be moving forward with the delivery of the RPTP, with this being the first of the high frequency improvements that the people of Greater Christchurch have told us is important to them,” he said.

“Knowing your bus will arrive every 10 minutes removes the reliance on timetables – if you miss one bus you know it won’t be long before the next one arrives, similar to the Orbiter," Cr. Clearwater said. 

“Route 3 already operates every 10 minutes from Sumner during the morning peak. This change means that the 10-minute frequency will be delivered from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, from both the Sumner and Avonhead ends of the route.

“On a Saturday, the current 15-minute frequency will continue, and Sundays will also operate a 15-minute frequency, a big jump up from the current 30-minutes. These frequencies will operate for most of the day, except for early mornings and late evenings.”

The current 30-minute frequency on the airport branch of the route will remain.

Other core routes in the Metro network will see frequency increases in the future as and when funding allows.

“We are starting with route 3 as we believe it has strong growth potential. It has existing high usage during peak times and it provides access to several key locations across Sumner, through Ferrymead and Woolston, the city centre, Riccarton, the university, Avonhead and the airport,” he said.

“The timing of similar frequency increases on other core routes will be dependent on future funding decisions made via long-term and annual planning processes.”

The new schedule will be in place from Sunday 29 November. At the same time, its name will change from the Purple Line to 3 Airport/Sheffield Crescent – Sumner, as part of the move to Metro’s new teal livery.

Timetables on some other Metro services will also change on 29 November, in the second of three stages of timetable changes. The changes have been intentionally split into three stages to reduce the impact on customers as we move to new contracts and improve services.

Full details about the 29 November changes will be available in mid-November.