Covid-19 Timaru Metro & MyWay service updates

Canterbury’s Public Transport at COVID-19 Level 3

Updated: Tuesday 28 April 2020​

From Tuesday 28 April the Timaru Link and Temuka routes will be in service alongside the MyWay by Metro on demand service.

Under Level 3, government advice is that travel is still restricted, and is only allowed for permitted movement in your local area – e.g. for going to work or school, shopping, or getting exercise.

We know some of you have returned to work or school at Level 3 and need public transport as an important part of your day.  So Timaru’s public transport is back on track.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our plans were that the MyWay service would replace the Gleniti, Grantlea and Watlington services from mid-April, with the Timaru Link and Temuka services continuing.  This is now the case.

MyWay by Metro operates 7am-7pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-6pm on weekends and public holidays.  Booking and service information is available at mywaybymetro.co.nz.  The Timaru Link and a revised Temuka timetable are available by clicking here.


Physical distancing onboard​

​​Under Alert Level 3, physical distancing of 2 metres applies when travelling in public transport, apart from when travelling with people in your bubble.

We have provided stickers onboard the Timaru Link, Temuka and Metro schoool bus services, on each seat, to make it really clear where you can sit.  Of course, this does significantly reduce capacity on each vehicle. We ask that you avoid travelling at peak times unless you need to for work or school.

There are a few exceptions to the 2 metre rule, which are acceptable to the Ministry of Health:

​- There may not be a full 2 metres to the person sitting directly in front or behind you.

- The 2 metre radius can be broken for the purpose of boarding or departing a vehicle (or other passing).

In the smaller vehicles in use in Timaru, 2 metre separation is not possible.  Every second row will be used instead. The shorter duration of these journeys mean passengers are unlikely to be in close proximity with others for more than the recommended 15 minutes.

Contact Tracing:  Why is it important to record your travel?

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 the public transport.

Contact tracing 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 contact tracing information?

When you use public transport, the Ministry of Health asks that you record your travel on our Contact Tracing app.  This is a simple process. Take note of the unique bus ID number written on the in-bus poster onteh Timaru LInk, Temuka and Metro school bus services, 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 6 88 55 44 and we will register your trip for you. 

Please note that as we record your details when you book your MyWay by Metro trip, you don’t need to separately register these journeys for contact tracing.

The contact tracing information is held for Ministry of Health purposes only. Find out more here

How does contact 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​

Keeping drivers and passengers safe

This is a top priority for both Environment Canterbury and bus operators.

To maintain physical distancing between passengers and drivers, fares are not required during the Level 3 period and the Timaru Link and Temuka buses will be boarded from the rear doors.

Ritchies will continue the regular deep cleaning of all vehicles.  The vehicles have a full interior clean daily, with touch points cleaned after each journey, and a full weekly groom. 


Front door accessibility

To help keep everyone safe and maintain a distance from drivers, passengers on the Timaru Link and Temuka services are asked to board from the rear doors unless they have an accessibility need.

If you use a wheelchair or mobility device or require driver assistance, you can still get on and off using the front door.  Accessible MyWay vehicles are also available.  Please contact us on 688 5544 to book your MyWay ride.


School services

The Metro school service will resume on Wednesday 29 April. You can view the timetable here​This service will be reviewed on a daily basis and if demand reduces it may stop operating. ​


Booking MyWay by Metro

You can book your shared ride in the MyWay vehicle:

- Call 688 5544, or 

- Download the MyWay by Metro app for easy bookings

- Find out more on the website​.

Be kind, keep safe.

We’ve been taking steps to ensure we’re prepared for COVID-19 in Timaru

Some of these steps include:

- asking passengers to follow the guidelines on self-isolation

- cleaning our vehicles on a regular basis and stepping up the cleaning of surfaces like handrails, stop buttons, and seat backs

- 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:

- you have any symptoms and have been to any countries or territories of concern

- you have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.​​​​​​