COVID-19 Service updates

Published 7/09/2021

Canterbury is now at Delta Alert Level 2.

Canterbury moved to Delta Alert Level 2 on Wednesday 8 September. The great news is that we will are back to usual timetables. 

However, public transport under Delta Alert Level 2 looks a little different than usual. 

Under Delta Level 2, our buses can only carry their seated capacity.  This means that there can be no standing, and at peak times, this may mean we can’t carry everyone on some of our services. 

We know this will raise a few questions, so please read on. 

Reduced capacity 

Buses and ferries can only be filled with the number of people who can be seated.  There is no standing on public transport at Delta Level 2, and we are getting posters on board to remind customers of this. 

All of the seats on the bus can be used, because the no standing requirement caps the number of people on board at any time. 

If all the seats on the bus or ferry are full, it will display a ‘Full’ sign and will not be able to pick up additional passengers.  We ask that you plan ahead and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. We will do our best to limit the impact of this, but as all drivers and buses are already in use during the peak times, we can’t simply add more services. 

Public transport can be used for those that need to travel but we do need everyone to be aware there will be limited capacity at peak times. Please try and travel outside our peak times of 7am - 9am and 2.30pm – 5pm, weekdays unless you are going to or from work or education. 

School bus services 

Dedicated school services are exempt from the no standing rule.  There will be no capacity restrictions on school services, either those contracted by schools or council-run services. 

Because these are dedicated school services, face coverings and scanning in are not required either.  This is because the students are from a defined group where student lists are kept. 

School services resumed on Thursday 9 September. 

If your child takes a Metro public bus to school, unfortunately, it is likely that there will be capacity issues.  If you have alternatives, please avoid travel during peak times of 7am - 9am and 2.30pm – 5pm. We do understand this causes a lot of the inconvenience for families, but unfortunately as all of our buses and drivers are already working during the peak, we can’t simply add more services.  We will monitor capacities and keep you up to date through our Facebook page.


At Delta Alert Level 2, Greater Christchurch public transport services will be operating under normal timetables.  

Face coverings and scanning in  

Please scan the QR code nearest your seat, using the NZ COVID Tracer app. If you are unable to scan the QR code, you can call 03 366 8855 to register your travel.  

For everyone aged 12 and older, face coverings are mandatory on public transport unless you have an exemption for health reasons.  

Please, do not use public transport if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, are travelling to get a test, or awaiting results, or if you need to self-isolate. 


Contactless payment is preferred, especially at Delta Level 2. 

Metrocards make this easy. You can order one online - be sure to register your card for contactless top ups as well. Metrocards save you at least 25% compared to paying with cash.  

Boarding and alighting 

You can board through the front door. Please use the rear door for disembarking unless you need to use the front door for accessibility reasons.    

Public transport facilities 

The Bus Interchange and South side Riccarton Lounge are both open at Alert Level 2. The North side Riccarton Lounge is not be open yet.
Remember to wear your face covering and scan in when entering these facilities. 

Our Metroinfo counter at the Bus Interchange is open between 9am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday and 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday.  

The team are also available via phone at 03 366 88 55 between 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 7pm Sunday, or email at  

A gentle reminder 

We’re all in this together, Canterbury.  Public transport is a great way to get around, and at times like this, it’s one of the few places we’re out and about together. So let’s keep it kind. 

Drivers and transport operators cannot stop people without face coverings from boarding public transport, as many people do have valid exemptions from wearing one. We ask that people take personal responsibility to cover for each other, and themselves.  

Leaving home?  Remember: 

  • Your face covering 
  • Your Metrocard for contactless payment
  • Your phone for QR code scanning 
  • Allow plenty of time if travelling in the peak hours.

Be kind, keep safe.  
The team at Metro 

Last updated 13 September 2021