For information on Timaru Metro and MyWay services click here.
At Alert Level 2, public transport is back to regular timetables.
Government advice is that at Alert Level 2, people can leave home to do more things, but should follow public health measures and consider others around them. In particular, people should keep their distance from people they do not know. This includes onboard public transport.
Because of this, the network’s capacity is restricted, across both urban and school services.
The Ministry of Health requires the capacity on most buses to be limited, which means there will only be approximately 40% of normal seated capacity – or around 25% of normal total capacity, with standing passengers not permitted.
If you have a choice, we ask that you avoid travelling at our peak times of 7am - 9am and 2.30pm – 5.30pm, weekdays.
We really appreciate everyone’s patience and kindness as we work within the limitations in place to keep everyone safe.
Free public transport for a little longer
Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency, has provided free fares under Alert Levels 3 and 4. When New Zealand enters Alert Level 2, fares must be collected as soon as possible.
We are awaiting guidance from Government on handling of cash on public transport before returning to collecting fares. At this time we are working towards early June as the earliest return date. We will have a further update on this next week.
Metro school services are back, but with limitations
Metro’s school bus network resumes from Monday 18th May. We are now able to confirm that, in compliance with Ministry of Transport guidelines, dedicated school services can all run at full seated capacity. However, many of these buses also usually have standing passengers, so we are still going to have constraints. At the same time, a lot of school children also use the urban bus routes, and we know capacity will be severely limited on these.
We have been looking at all options to alleviate this, and have brought in some extra tour coaches, buses and drivers to back up the school services. Your child may see extra buses, or larger buses, or both on their school route.
We ask that parents remain with students at bus stops in case the bus is at capacity, and we recommend that they consider alternative ways for their children to get to school. We know this is a challenging situation for families which rely on school bus services, and we ask everyone to be both kind and patient while we work within Alert Level 2 restrictions.
Users of the following services should be aware that their trips will be operated with white Ritchies coaches:
- 771 and 772 Halswell to Upper Riccarton
- 791 Queenspark to Burnside
We must stress that there will still not be enough capacity for everyone. If you have alternative options, please use them during Alert Level 2.
Track your journey
Keeping everyone safe is a top priority for Environment Canterbury and bus operators.
Here in New Zealand, we are a team of five million. Let’s work together – you can help by providing your contact tracing information whenever you use public transport.
Tracking your journey by checking in supports early detection of suspected cases to prevent potential onward transmission of the virus.
Contact tracing, as well as testing and quarantine/isolation measures, is critical in supporting New Zealand’s mission to eliminate COVID-19.
The importance of contact tracing is increasing as New Zealand moves through to lower alert levels.
How do I provide journey tracing information?
When you use public transport, the Ministry of Health asks that you record your travel on our Trace your Journey app. This is a simple process. Take note of the unique bus ID number written on the in-bus poster, and visit ecan.govt.nz/trace to register your details.
If you don't have access to the internet you can call us on 03 366 8855 and we will register your trip for you.
The journey tracing information is held for Ministry of Health purposes only. Find out more here.
How does journey tracing work?
When there is a suspected, confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, a contact tracing process will occur to:
- identify all ‘close contacts’ of the case – so that these people can be quarantined/isolated (and tested if required); and
- identify ‘casual contacts’, of the case, and ask them to be tested if they have (or develop) symptoms of COVID-19.
Contact tracing is undertaken by your local Public Health Unit, or by the National Close Contact Service. The information you provide when registering your travel is confidential and will only be used for this purpose.
Register your travel here.
Physical distancing onboard vehicles
Under Alert Level 2, physical distancing requirements apply when travelling in public transport, apart from when travelling with people you know.
We have provided stickers onboard, on each seat, to make it really clear where you can sit. Of course, this does significantly reduce capacity on each vehicle. Most buses are limited to 40% of normal seated capacity – or around 25% of normal total capacity, with standing passengers not permitted under Level 2.
We ask that you avoid travelling at peak times unless you need to for work or school.
Sitting together on the bus
Physical distancing from your fellow passengers is important. Please sit at green stickered seats, unless travelling with people you know. People who know each other can sit next to each other (i.e. in a red dot seat next to a green dot seat).
Would you be able to name the people you’re sitting next to if the Ministry of Health contacted you for contact tracing? If so, it’s okay to sit with them.
Front door accessibility
Under Alert Level 2, buses will be using the front doors of the bus for boarding.
Metroinfo counter hours
Under Alert Level 2, the Metroinfo counter at the Bus Interchange will be open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm and 9am to 5pm on weekends.
The Riccarton Lounge will be open from Monday 18th May.
Keeping everyone safe
As part of our COVID-19 response, we are:
- asking passengers to:
- cleaning our buses and ferries on a regular basis and stepping up the cleaning of surfaces like handrails, stop buttons, and seat backs.
- blocking seats closest to the drivers from being used.
- making sure the very latest information and advice from the Ministry of Health are being supplied to our staff and operators.
Some tips from the Ministry of Health:
- If you are unwell stay home.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds.
- Cough or sneeze by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with more than 60 percent alcohol.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if: