On-Demand Public Transport in Timaru?

Research stage 

Timaru’s public transport – why change? 

We know that many people in Timaru rely on public transport as an essential service.  However, for several years now, the number of people using the service has been declining.

Because of this, the cost to the ratepayer to cover the services is becoming unsustainable; Rather than reducing the service or increasing rates contributions, we have looked at a range of options.

At the moment, we are investigating whether an on-demand, ride-sharing public transport system could work as a viable alternative to the current service, so that we can continue to offer public transport in Timaru. 

What is On-Demand Public Transport? 

Think of it as a corner to corner service at times that suit you.  You’d be picked up nearby and then dropped off near to your requested destination.  

On-demand public transport could provide a timelier and more convenient journey when compared with the current bus service. 

What’s happening now? 

We know people will have lots of questions about how an on-demand service would work.   

Similar services work well elsewhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean that they are automatically right for us.  In the coming months, we will be working with the Timaru community to understand your preferences for things like booking, pricing, payment, and where you need to go. 

The on-demand service would not replace the school services or the Timaru-Temuka service, and we expect to provide an enhanced school service which would replicate what some Timaru Link services currently cover at school times. 

Feedback and Questions

We welcome your feedback.  Please complete the feedback form here.  You can also contact us by emailing metro@ecan.govt.nz or calling 03 688 5544. 

As our research proceeds, we will update this webpage.

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