Two new bus routes, Route 8 – Port to Port/Airport to Lyttelton and Route 27 – Northwood to Huntsbury, will begin operating from Monday 4 September.
These will replace the Bryndwr to Huntsbury (Route 17) and Casebrook to Lyttelton (Route 28) routes.
The new 8 and 27 routes will increase frequencies and simplify schedules, while covering all the communities that routes 17 and 28 currently service.
The route changes were approved by Council in May 2022 following consultation with the public, including regular passengers of the existing routes – a process that began in 2021.
“We are excited to be launching these two new enhanced Metro services,” said Public Transport General Manager Stewart Gibbon.
“We have engaged with the community about these new services, and there is strong buy-in.”
Route 8 – The Port to Port will offer frequent trips across the city, connecting Christchurch Airport with the CBD and Lyttelton. On weekdays, the service runs every 15 minutes, making it Metro’s sixth core route providing a high-frequency service.
The core schedule provides access via Colombo Street to the shopping hub of Sydenham, with alternating trips to Ara Polytechnic (every 30 minutes) until 5.30pm on weekdays.
The route will start at Lyttelton Port or Rāpaki, then continues through Heathcote, Ōpāwa and Waltham to the central city Bus Interchange. From the city it will travel up Wairakei Rd to Bryndwr, extending to Orchard Rd and finishing at the Christchurch Airport Terminal.
Route 27 – Northwood to Huntsbury will blend the retail destinations of central and north Christchurch with the suburbs of the south. The service runs every 20 minutes on weekdays until 6pm, and every 30 minutes in the evenings and on weekends.
The route starts in Northwood and travels through Casebrook and Bishopdale to Northlands Mall. It continues down Cranford St to St Albans and the Bus Interchange. From the city, it travels down Waltham Rd to St Martins before going up Huntsbury Hill.
Initially, we also proposed removing the Christchurch Airport stop from Route 125 (Redwood to Westlake), with the introduction of the new Port to Port route. However, we amended in response to community feedback, and Route 125 will continue to service Christchurch Airport, in addition to the new Port to Port service.
“Environment Canterbury is committed to reducing carbon emissions,” said Gibbon.
“Seven new electric buses will be introduced post-launch to increase our zero emissions fleet, which will be used on these new services and across the wider Metro network.”
Passengers will enjoy a smooth, quiet ride while reducing their carbon footprint as they travel.
“We recognise that this will be a big change for some of our regular route 17 and 28 passengers,” said Gibbon.
“You can rest assured that we are planning to provide plenty of information and support to ease the transition for these passengers.”
Leading up to the launch, additional Metro staff will be stationed at the Bus Interchange to answer questions and help people understand which new route to take.