Bus routes and timetable changes on Monday 28 September

New look for Metro buses

As we begin 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 busNew look Metro bus

New look OrbiterNew look Orbiter

Frequently asked questions

Why do our buses have a new look?

Currently, on Christchurch’s streets, buses are 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?

These new operating contracts have around 100 buses, or half of Metro’s fleet, scheduled to arrive, in their new teal colour, over the next two years. The buses remaining in the existing fleet will gradually be repainted teal over two years.

As our new buses are produced, they will be put into use. However, because of COVID-19 related delays, it will be later this year before the new cultural graphics are applied. This means you will see some of the smart new teal vehicles on the road without their full livery.

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’s new look will start to be in place from the middle of 2021, when the new electric vehicles arrive.

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.

View the upcoming timetable changes.

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.