New direct bus services from the Waimakariri District to central Christchurch start on Monday 11 January, with free travel for the first two weeks.
Environment Canterbury transport portfolio lead Councillor Phil Clearwater says the quieter January period is an ideal time to encourage people to try the new services out.
“People who are back at work from 11 January onwards can take this great opportunity to try the new services out for free for a couple of weeks, to see if the bus works for them.”
The 91 Rangiora – City Direct and 92 Kaiapoi – City Direct will pick up from the Park & Ride locations, and drop off at key hubs within central Christchurch, with no stopping along the way. The afternoon return service will be the same.
Each service will run Monday to Friday, with four trips in the morning to the central city, and five afternoon trips back to the Park & Rides. Timetables are now available at metro.co.nz.
The Park & Ride facilities will provide between 40 to 100 carparks with lighting, security cameras and facilities for secure bike storage. Parking will be free.
Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon says the services are a game changer for the Waimakariri District and great result for the community.
"The direct services and Park & Ride provide a fantastic opportunity for people to look at how they commute into the city, even if it’s to try it once or twice a week.
"By using the buses people can jump the traffic queues and help reduce emissions as well as saving on petrol and parking costs. This has been a great partnership between our council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council,” Mayor Gordon says.
The buses will use the new T2 lanes on the Christchurch Northern Motorway, and the dedicated bus lanes on Cranford Street, but can use other routes depending on traffic.
T2 lanes can be used by vehicles with two or more people in them, as well as buses and motorcycles.
Councillor Clearwater adds that running free buses at the beginning of the new services is alongside commitments from other partner organisations that have all been working closely with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to ensure that the T2 lanes on the Christchurch Northern Motorway are successful, and that the new buses are well-used by the community.
“We are really happy to be able to offer this period of free travel to support the new services getting off to a strong start. This is alongside our partners at Waimakariri District Council building the new Park & Rides and Christchurch City Council approving bus lanes on Cranford Street,” Cr Clearwater says.