Accessible travel

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Enhanced services for people with impairments, access challenges or limited mobility. 

Priority seating areas

All buses have priority seating areas near the front of the bus for passengers with mobility aids, service animals and for parents with pushchairs. For safety reasons, it may be necessary for pushchairs to be folded down before boarding. Please cooperate with the driver if they request that your pushchair be folded down to make space for a passenger with a mobility aid.  

Mobility aids, service animals and pushchairs 

All bus services welcome passengers accompanied by service dogs or disability assist dogs and most buses in Canterbury can cater for passengers with access challenges.
All Christchurch and Timaru buses have:

  • super-low floors and the ability to kneel to meet the curb. Please ask the driver if you need the bus to kneel
  • wheelchair ramps fitted to allow easy access for most wheelchair users. The driver will manually fold these out

Please note: larger wheelchairs may not fit in the bus aisles. Please check the dimensions below. While many buses can fit two wheelchairs or mobility devices, some older buses only have space for one.

Accessibility will be improved as new buses replace older vehicles. Newer buses have wider aisles and larger priority seating areas, making it easier to accommodate mobility equipment.
For gu​idance only: Manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs can be carried on most buses subject to the following restrictions:                                                                                     

  • Maximum length: 1200mm (including footplates / feet)
  • Maximum width: 700mm
  • Maximum weight: 300kg (combined weight of wheelchair and user)

Being able to operate within these dimensions and weights is necessary to enable safe negotiation of the loading ramp and maneuvering into the priority seating area.

Some larger mobility equipment may protrude into the aisle. This is acceptable as long as it does not make it difficult for other passengers to move down the aisle.
For space reasons, buses are unable to carry electric mobility scooters. 

Large format bus timetables

Large format timetables are available from Metroinfo for passengers with low vision. To request copies of large-format timetables, please contact metro@ecan.govt.nz. Or download a copy for your route from the Maps & Timetables section.

Metro Bus Signaling Policy

On single bus routes, if a person is waiting at a stop, the bus must stop regardless of whether the person signals the driver unless that person makes it obvious they do not want the bus e.g. by deliberately turning away or shaking their head and waving the bus onward as the bus approaches.

On multiple routes (stops where multiple bus routes travel past), it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that they stop for anyone with a guide/ service dog, white cane, or for someone displaying the bus route number that is the same as the route the driver is travelling. In all other situations the intending passenger must signal the driver.

Bus Route Signs

Water proof bus route signs for passengers to hold up are available from Metro. These cards are A4 in size and designed to be held perpendicular to the body at chest height while facing the direction your bus will be approaching from. If you would like cards for the bus routes you travel on just email us at metro@ecan.govt.nz with the bus routes you would like, your name and physical address and we will send them out as soon as possible. You can also call us and request them on (03) 366 88 55.

Total Mobility Scheme

The Total Mobility scheme is a subsidised taxi transport scheme offered by Environment Canterbury to assist eligible people with impairments to access appropriate transport.
This service provides subsidised door-to-door transport services for eligible, registered passengers where approved scheme transport providers operate.
An eligibility assessment is necessary to identify if a person has an impairment which prevents them from travelling unaccompanied in a safe and dignified manner on a bus, train or ferry. 

This includes:

  • getting to the place from where the transport departs
  • getting onto the transport
  • riding securely
  • getting off the transport
  • getting to the final destination point

For more information on the Total Mobility Scheme in Canterbury, please click here.

If you have any suggestions or feedback about the Metro Bus services, please click here and fill out our feedback form.​

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