As we continue to replace the Metro fleet with zero and low-emission buses, now is the time to update the look of our buses as well.
Metro’s new bus livery is inspired by taonga/treasure species, the foods and resources shared by early Māori, and the natural landscape that connected them.
- A mosaic of historic wetlands and waterways formed a network of trails, streams and rivers across Ōtautahi/Greater Christchurch
- This network connected settlements and provided access to areas of vast natural resource, full of native birds, fish and plants that sustained the people who lived there
- Today, surrounded by our urban environment, this vital transport connection is represented by the Metro network.
By weaving this historical, cultural story into Metro’s design and experience, we hope to create a meaningful sense of place and connection that enriches understanding of our region.
The Metro livery will be introduced over the coming months as the new contracts take effect and new buses are built.
Read the full Metro story.
New look Metro bus
New look Orbiter
Frequently asked questions
Why do our buses have a new look?
Previously on Christchurch’s streets, buses were painted in at least eight different brands. When we surveyed people about their understanding of Christchurch’s public transport, the results revealed that general awareness was often unclear.
The numerous brands of Christchurch’s buses weren’t making it easy to understand Metro’s connected network. For instance, users might know that the Blue Line takes them from Cashmere to Merivale, or that the Yellow Line takes you from New Brighton to Linwood, but both users and non-users were less likely to understand that Metro takes you almost anywhere.
We want to make it clearer that this is a single, reliable, connected network that will get you anywhere you need to go in greater Christchurch.
When will all the buses have the new branding?
Many of the buses running on the network are already dressed in the new branding. We expect the remainder of Metro’s fleet to be branded in the teal colour towards the end of 2022. Some of the fleet will also have the new cultural graphics applied to the sides of the buses. You will see more and more smart new teal vehicles on the road with their full livery as the year progresses.
How is the new livery funded?
The new single look across all buses (other than the Orbiter) is being introduced by our bus operators, Go Bus and Ritchies, under the terms of their new contracts.
With upgrades and replacements of our fleet in progress, this is the appropriate time to update the livery.
Both operators are making big steps to replace portions of the fleet with electric and low emission vehicles, with 28 EV’s already on the network.
How was the livery design developed?
Metro’s new bus livery was developed collaboratively through Environment Canterbury’s Tuia Ngāi Tahu partnership and Matapopore, the mana whenua organisation responsible for ensuring Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu values and narratives are realised within the Christchurch environment.
What does the new livery design represent?
Metro’s new bus livery is inspired by Canterbury’s taonga species, the foods and resources shared by early Māori, and the natural landscape that connected them.
It tells the story of the mosaic of historic wetlands and waterways which formed a network of trails, streams and rivers right here in Christchurch. These connected settlements and provided access to areas of vast natural resource, full of native birds, fish and plants that sustained the people who lived there.
Today, surrounded by our urban environment, the Metro network provides this vital transport connection across the Ōtautahi / greater Christchurch area. By weaving this historical narrative into Metro’s design and experience, this livery creates a meaningful sense of place and connection that enriches people’s understanding of their region.
Will the Orbiter’s look change too?
Yes, although the Orbiter will remain in a recognisable green livery, symbolic of the land. The Orbiter fleet has recently been replaced with new electric vehicles, and are sporting the new livery.
All other buses will be painted in the new Metro teal colour to represent our strong link to water, an essential life-sustaining force.
Are the route names changing?
Yes, the coloured route names will eventually change to their route numbers, as their colours are phased out. We’ll use both names for a while yet to make the transition simple. The route numbers are:
- 1: Rangiora – Cashmere (Blue Line)
- 3: Airport – Sumner (Purple Line)
- 5: Rolleston – New Brighton (Yellow Line)
- 7: Halswell – Queenspark (Orange Line)
- The Orbiter will keep its name.
I take a coloured line bus – how will I know it’s my bus when they all look the same?
Our research showed that while some people identify with their coloured bus, they usually look for the route number and destination as confirmation. Even though some lines have run mostly coloured buses, eg a yellow bus on the Yellow Line, they are often substituted for another vehicle when maintenance is required, and so passengers already always need to check the destination screen before boarding.