Buses now running every 10 minutes on route 3

Published 15/10/2020

Updated 27/01/2021

Route 3 bus

Buses on route 3 Airport/Sheffield Crescent to Sumner (the old Purple Line), are now running every 10 minutes all day on weekdays, and every 15 minutes during weekends. This change was introduced in November 2020.

Environment Canterbury Transport Portfolio Lead Councillor Phil Clearwater said this is an exciting and significant step in delivering the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) objective of providing more buses more often.

“We’re very excited to be moving forward with the delivery of the RPTP, with this being the first of the high frequency improvements that the people of Greater Christchurch have told us is important to them,” he said.

A shorter wait removes reliance on timetables

“Knowing your bus will arrive every 10 minutes removes the reliance on timetables – if you miss one bus you know it won’t be long before the next one arrives, similar to the Orbiter," Cr Clearwater said.

Route 3 already operated every 10 minutes from Sumner during the morning peak. This change means that the 10-minute frequency is now delivered from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, from both the Sumner and Avonhead ends of the route.

“On a Saturday, the 15-minute frequency continues, and Sundays are also operating a 15-minute frequency, a big jump up from the previous 30-minutes. These frequencies will operate for most of the day, except for early mornings and late evenings.”

Other core routes will follow

Cr Clearwater notes that the other core routes in the Metro network will see frequency increases in the future as and when funding allows.

“We started with route 3 as we believe it has strong growth potential. It has existing high usage during peak times and it provides access to several key locations across Sumner, through Ferrymead and Woolston, the city centre, Riccarton, the university, Avonhead and the airport,” he said.

“The timing of similar frequency increases on other core routes will be dependent on future funding decisions made via long-term and annual planning processes.”

New schedule

The new schedule was introduced in November 2020. At the same time, its name changed from the Purple Line to 3 Airport/Sheffield Crescent – Sumner, as part of the move to Metro’s new teal livery.

Timetables on some other Metro services also changed in November 2020, in the second of three stages of timetable changes. The changes have been intentionally split into three stages to reduce the impact on customers as we move to new contracts and improve services.

See full details about the 29 November changes, including the new route 3 timetable.